Aug 20, 2017 Last Updated 2:22 PM, Aug 18, 2017
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The Government is expected to spend over MK75 Million to host the first ever Tourism Expo 2017 in Lilongwe.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa disclosed this in Lilongwe during a press briefing ahead of the event set for August 30 to September 1.

Mussa reveals that the Ministry will also get support from various stakeholders in the tourism industry.

So far, the Ministry has received over MK25 million in pledges for the event which is aimed to promote domestic tourism, where Small and Medium Enterprises-SMEs will also take part.

Mussa acknowledges that SMEs make a huge contribution to the country’s economy, therefore they need to build linkages with the ICT, Banking and Transport sectors to boost tourism.

The main objective of the expo is to provide a platform for the participants to interface and experience first-hand, Malawi’s tourism products.

The participants include international and regional buyers, tourism authorities and ministries responsible for tourism, the academia and the general public.

It is also hoped that the event will help participants share best practices on how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

A lawmaker in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu is asking government to award contracts to firms that are able to deliver.

This comes amidst observations that Farm Input Subsidy Program supples usually fail to meet expectations.

In the past years most of the suppliers did not have structures in remote areas and had challenges in transporting the inputs to beneficiaries.

The development follows a report presented to Ntcheu district council by agriculture sub- committee of the council on how the program has performed in the district for the 2016/17 farming season.

Speaking to Capital FM, legislator for Ntcheu west constituency expressed concern on how beneficiaries in his constituency were struggling to access the farm inputs.

Mwai Kamuyambeni disclosed that people were forced to cover a distance of close to 90 kilometers to buy the inputs in which they could also spend a day or two days before accessing them.

"People in my constituency had difficulties in accessing the inputs during the implementation due to mobility challenges.

Many were forced to cover long distances with other sleeping at selling points to access the inputs," Kamuyambeni explained.

The Ntcheu West legislator however suggested to government to assess contractors before awarding them contracts.

He stated that this will help to address mobility challenges faced by benefiting communities during the 2016 /17 program.

During the 2016/17 farming season, government awarded 60% contract to over 20 private traders in the procurement and retailing of the inputs to benefiting farming households.

The remaining 40% was shared by government controlled companies thus Agriculture Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund Malawi (SFFRFM).

Challenges being faced in the use of Cypermetherin to combat the fall army worm have forced Malawi’s ministry of agriculture to find an alternative.

According to officials at the ministry, they are now using a chemical known as  Dursban.

The worms which have wrecked havoc in some parts of the country have proved to be destructive if not dealt with a sense of urgency.

The switch is said to be due to the fact that the chemical Cypermethrin has become less effective in some areas.

Speaking at Kambwiri Sele Irrigation Scheme in Salima at the start of a five day media tour, George Lungu who is Principal Agriculture Officer in the ministry of Agriculture responsible for Crop Protection said Cypermethrin has become resistant for the two years it has been used.

The aim of the tour is to visit irrigation schemes which have been affected by the fall army worms in the districts of Salima, Balaka and Chikwawa.

"We have realised that Cypermethrin is now not working that is after some farmers reported that it's no longer having any impact in their farms, so ,as the ministry we have decided to change Cypmetherin to Dursban starting this farming season," Lungu explained.

Lungu went on further to say that the ministry has procured 10,000 litres of Dursban pesticide which will be distributed to farmers throughout the country.

The European Union also provided 16,000 litres of the pesticide to help eliminate the pests.

“As a ministry we think that this procurement is more than enough to address the problem we have at hand,"

“The new chemical will assist farmers even better, but just like Cypermetherin, we wil have to change it every two years as it will become resistant,” the principal secretary added.

One of the lead farmers at the scheme, Lezita Banda said that the fall army worm is now becoming difficult to manage as the current pesticide seems to not be working.

She said they have discovered other ways of dealing with the worm by using traditional medicine which have proven to be more effective.

The fall army worms have among other crops in Salima district destroyed maize, millet, rice, pepper and sugarcane.

The tour was organised by the ministry of agriculture with financial assistance from the Feed the Future's Strengthening Agriculture and Nutrition Extension (SANE) project. 

Economists are describing the tendency by Malawi leaders to mismatch people’s skills and capabilities when appointing cabinet as a catalyst for disaster.

It follows observations that the country’s presidents, both past and present, continue to disregard a person’s professional discipline when bringing them on board to serve as cabinet ministers.

Only an exceptional number has managed to defy the odds by performing exceptionally well.

Yesterday, the office of the president and cabinet announced a new list of ministers, which includes three new faces.

It is the President’s prerogative to appoint persons he sees fit to his cabinet, and he equally holds the right to make changes to his appointed cabinet from time to time.

And this is exactly what President Peter Mutharika has done by making changes to his cabinet.

The public, civil society organisations and various commentators have on each occasion such changes have been made, expressed their views both for and against.

One thing that has often come up as a concern is the mismatch between the appointees’ skills and the responsibilities given to them.

For instance, in the recent reshuffle, trained barrister and former Lands Minister Atupele Muluzi now heads the Health Ministry.

Civil Engineer Francis Kasaila was moved from his field as a transport and public infrastructure minister to Foreign Affairs, where he has again been shifted to sports.

Ernest Thindwa who is a political commentator strongly believes the mismatch is influenced by the political appeasement policy which the country’s presidents pursue, as a way of showing appreciation for loyalty to party officials and other sympathisers.

Analysis by Earlene Chimoyo

 

Some people have been left to wonder as to exactly what bearing such decisions have on the local struggling economy?

In some way, the whole idea of having a minister who in the end may just be a figure head, with less knowledge and expertise in that respective field does have its downside.

In economists Collen Kalua’s view, factors such as austerity may not work really well in such scenarios, and the issue of sectoral priorities also becomes a concern.

There have been some cases where the country paid dearly for skills misplacement in cabinet.

Take for example when a Linguist was left with the responsibility of manning the country’s finances, Cashgate erupted under his watch.

It has not always been bad however as there have been situation where other cabinet ministers have gone on to post impressive results even when placed in a ministry that is not within their field.

For example, there was one cabinet minister under the then UDF regime that put in star performance when he was deployed at Health, Agriculture and Finance ministries.

There was also another individual that put in a notable performance when deployed at the sports ministry under the Bingu Wa Mutharika regime, regardless of his professional background.

It is better however to have an economist head the finance ministry, a health specialist for health, crop scientist or an agronomist to lead agriculture, a lawyer to lead justice, a geologist or an environmentalist to lead mining, environment and wildlife and the list goes on.

This is however no guarantee that the person would work wonders, just because it is their field.

The public will most likely a lot of government spending over the next two months through what is described as familiarisation tours for these new ministers.

This puts a dent on taxpayers’ money, but whether the ministers will perform in their new roles or not, only time will be the best judge.

Peter Kumpalume and Vincent Ghambi have been dropped from the cabinet, in a reshuffle announced by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) on Monday afternoon.

Kumpalume has since been replaced by Atupele Muluzi, while Ghambi who was deputy minister of defense has been replaced by Everton Chimulilinji.

Henry Mussa is now the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism; he has been replaced by Francis Kasaila in the Ministry of Labour, Sport and Youth Development.

Emmanuel Fabiano is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, with Bright Msaka being appointed as the Education Minister.

Joseph Mwanamveka is the new Minister of Agriculture, a position which was vacant after the firing of George Chaponda months ago.

Aggrey Massi who was the deputy Minister of Agriculture is now a full Minister responsible for Natural Resources and Mining.

Other newcomers in the cabinet are Everton Chimulilinji who has been appointed as the Deputy Minister of Defence, replacing Ghambi and Clement Mkumbwa who is now the Deputy Minister of Gender.

There are no changes in other ministerial positions.

President Mutharika has also appointed Charles Mhango as the new Attorney General.

Here is the full list:

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism-Henry Mussa


Minister Of Health-Atupele Muluzi


Minister of Agriculture– Joseph Mwanamveka


Minister of Foreign Affairs-Emmanuel Fabiano- Foreign Affairs


Mining and Natural Resources-Aggrey Massi


Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development–Anna Kachikho

Minister of Education-Bright Msaka

Minister of Gender-Jean Kalilani

Minister of Local Government-Kondwani Nankhumwa

Minister of Home Affairs-Grace Chiumia

Minister of Information-Nicholas Dausi

Minister of Labour– Francis Kasaila

Minister Of Justice-Samuel Tembenu

Transport-Jappie Mhango

Civic Education-Cecelia Chazama

Everton Chimulilinji-Deputy Defence

Clement Mkumbwa-Deputy Gender

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