Oct 19, 2017 Last Updated 2:12 PM, Oct 18, 2017

A project to sensitise communities to lobby government for the enactment of drafted mines and mineral act bill is underway in the country.

This follows delay by authorities to enact the bill into law despite the draft bill being finalised in 2015.

Civil society organisations have of late pressed government to take the bill to Parliament for deliberation. 

In view of this, Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi with support from Norwegian Church Aid is implementing an advocacy project to lobby for enactment of the revised Mines and Mineral Act.

The goal is to contribute towards transparent mining regime embedded with effective legal framework that promotes human rights.

This will in turn increase community members’ knowledge and understanding of policies and legal framework of the mining sector.

The project also seeks to pressure duty bearers and policy makers to pass the revised mines and mineral bill.

Speaking to Capital FM, Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi Programs Officer disclosed it has been long overdue for the bill to be taken to Parliament.

Biswas Ismael is of the view government will take into consideration the significance of taking the bill to the August House for its enactment.

"People living in areas rich in mines are subject to human rights violations due to our outdated Act as it dates back to 1981.

Therefore we are appealing to authorities to swiftly enact the bill into law so as to address existing gaps with current Act," explained Ismael. 

Malawi’s current Mines and Minerals Act dates back to 1981 hence sideling communities when it comes to negotiations in as far as mining issues are concerned.

The 23 million Kwacha six month initiative will be implemented in Ntcheu targeting Traditional Authority (TA) Mpando, Phambala and Sub Traditional Authority Tsikulamowa.

While in Mangochi district it will target T/A's Makanjira and Mponda respectively.

The magistrate court in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu has released on bail a pastor accused of defilement. 

Philip Palibe Ndipo of New Covenant Assemblies of God appeared before court on Monday morning.

He is alleged to have defiled a 10 year old epileptic girl from Kalindira village last week.

Ndipo pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him and applied for bail in which the court set conditions before granted him.

First grade magistrate Crispin Sachuluka ordered the man of the cloth to produce two surities of MK75, 000 each of which he managed to do.

Meanwhile the case returns in court on October 12, 2017 for hearing, this is the day when the state will parade its witnesses to the case.

The 50 year old clergyman is answering a case of defilement which contravenes section 138 of the Penal Code.

Officers of the Malawi Police Service in the central region district of Ntcheu have arrested a clergyman for allegedly defiling a ten-year-old girl.

They law enforcers have identified the suspect as Philip Palibe Ndipo of New Covenant Assemblies of God who is based at Kalindira village in the district.

Ntcheu Police publicist told Capital FM that the suspect a 50 year old pastor allegedly defiled the minor who is in standard 3.

Hastings Chigalu disclosed the suspect who is also a close neighbour to the family took advantage of the absence of the girl’s parents and then defiled her.

"Upon return from a borehole, the mother found the girl crying uncontrollably.

When quizzed, she revealed the name of the pastor to be been behind the ordeal," Chigalu explained.

Results of a medical examination that was done Kandeu Health Centre came positive and the victim had bruises to her private part.

Pastor Phillip Palibe Ndipo who hails from Kalindira village, Traditional Authority Njolomole in the district will appear in court soon to answer a case of defilement which contravenes section 138 of the Penal Code.

Phase one of the much anticipated Tsagano-Neno-Mwanza earth road project upgrading is expected to cost Malawi government over MK5 billion.

The road will be upgraded from its current earth status to bitumen road.

For decades road users had had challenges using the 140 kilometre road especially in the rainy season as it had been in earth form.

Government has assigned Malawi Defence Force’s Engineers Battalion to carry out the works with first phase covering 21 Kilometers.

The yet to be upgraded distance will stretch from Tsangano Turn-Off in Ntcheu district up to Kambilonjo trading center in the district.

Speaking to Capital FM, Minister of Transport and Public Works concedes of mobility challenges among road users on the road due to its current condition.

Jappie Mhango assured people that government is now ready and determined to construct the road so as to ease the challenges.

“It has been long overdue for this project to materialize but this time around as government the funds are available for construction of the first phase.

“And we believe the undersigned contractor (MDF Engineers Battalion) will carry out the work accordingly and with good standards,” explained Mhango.

The whole road project upgrade is however expected to be completed in four years with the first phase lasting approximately over a year.

On his part a Traditional leader for the area the road passes reaveled the suffering people had had to endure over the past years.

Traditional Authority Mpando of Ntcheu said, “We experience high transportation costs when transporting our farm produce to various destinations considering that most of our people are smallholder farmers.”

The Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza earth road connects the districts of Ntcheu, Neno and Mwanza respectively.

When completed, high transportation cost faced by people using the road will be reduced beside socioeconomic growth among communities living around the area.

However, Ntcheu and its two sister districts of Neno and Mwanza will also see a boost in infrastructure development as potential investors will be able to visit the area with good road network connecting the districts.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa is advising royal families in the country to desist from taking chieftainship wrangles to court.

This comes as some royal families continue taking legal action when it comes to resolving chieftaincy issues.

The minister made the call during the installation of Traditional Authority Njolomole the fourth as well as Sub Traditional Authority Tsikulamowa in Ntcheu district.

Speaking to Capital FM, Nankhumwa expressed concern with the conduct stating it affects development.

He disclosed that contact and dialogue among royal members of the family is the only solution rather than seeking legal action.

"We are advising royal families across the country to follow proper procedures when resolving chieftainship wrangles," Nankhumwa advised.

On the newly installed chiefs, the Local Government and Rural Development Minister advised the two to be development conscious.

He stressed the need for them to desist from corruption practices when discharging their duties in their area of jurisdictions.

However, Maseko Ngoni Paramount Chief Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani V of Ntcheu urged the newly installed chiefs to be exemplary to their subjects.

Paramount Chief Gomani V further added that the chiefs should be in forefront in protecting girls from early marriages but encourage them to go to school.

"May I also take the opportunity in advising our chiefs to intensify promote and preserve our culture so as we sustain our cultural values," Gomani V added. 

Traditional Authority Njolomole IV, real name Wilson Frackson Njolomole has been in acting capacity for Njolomole chieftaincy after the death of his father in 2016.

While Efinati Beyadi, Sub Traditional Authority Tsikulamowa the second has been acting after the death of her mother in 2012.

Both are Maseko Ngoni chiefs and are under His Royal Highness Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani V who has his headquarters at Nkosini in Lizwe la Zulu fondly known as Lizulu in Ntcheu district. 

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