The government is accusing the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Non-Governmental Organisations, of responsibility in the spread of rumours on the presence of alleged blood suckers in the country.
Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi has made the accusations on Wednesday in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, during a press briefing held by several cabinet ministers, on the issue.
The rumours have led to the death of six people, who were suspected to be involved in the purported human blood sucking.
Tweeting this morning, the Malawi News Agency has quoted Dausi as saying this is a deliberate ploy by the MCP and NGOs to have Malawi labelled a failed state.
When contacted by Capital FM, Eisenhower Mkaka who is Spokesperson of thr MCP shot down the accusations.
According to Mkaka, the government itself need to investigate and intensify civic education in the affected communities.
“If they have proof, they should follow procedures and take the matter to court if need be.
“The DPP is desperate, they only want to taint the image of the MCP,” Mkaka added.
The spokesperson also stressed on the need for the government to ensure that it invests in civic education in various communities and also finds the root cause of the rumours.
The Clergy as well hinted on the same, attributing the rumours to a lack of love among people and moral decay.
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.
The government has stopped the process of paying terminal benefits to former Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) pending the revision of the whole process.
Disclosing the new development to Capital FM, Secretary to the Treasury Ben Botolo the move has been made following a number of emerging issues.
He added that the challenge facing the government is the proof that some of the claimants were indeed members of the MYP.
“The problem at the moment is that some of the people are failing to give proof that they were indeed MYP officers. This is supposed to be the first step taken.
“At the same time there are also other dimensions concerning those who were victimised by the same officers, as they are demanding compensation. We cannot compensate the entire country because the MYP victimised almost everyone, Botolo said.
He also cited revelations that the former MYP Officers had in fact already received their dues between 1993 and 1994.
The former MYP officers have been demanding over MK2.6 billion as terminal benefits to be shared among 2,700 officers.
They held demonstrations in July this year hoping to push authorities to pay them.
For over two months now they have been holding camping outside Capital Hill offices in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
Who Were The MYP Officers?
The Malawi Young Pioneers were the paramilitary wing of the Malawi Congress Party. Their Commander in Chief was President Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
They originally were supposed to function as a national youth service program with a development agenda.
However over time, they strayed away from this agenda and became an intricate network of espionage and terror.
The Young Pioneers were a major instrument for the operationalisation of Dr Banda's one party state dictatorship and domestic terrorism.
Pioneers bore arms, conducted espionage and intelligence operations, and were Banda's most trusted bodyguards around Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Both the Malawi Army and Police resented the Pioneers for usurping their roles as security agents.
Increased cases of gender based violence are worrying the government of Malawi.
The statement was made by the Minister responsible for such issues, Jean Kalirani who has since called on the general public to help in eradicating such cases.
She said her Ministry is receiving reports of increasing cases of gender based violence with some of them bordering on barbaric killings.
Over the last couple of months, the country has witnessed some of the worst forms of gender based violence, according to the minister.
She cited cases of the young woman killed by her ex-boyfriend in Chilinde, Lilongwe.
And another woman in Mzuzu who was killed together with her child by her husband while another is a case of woman stabbed by her business client.
The minister, therefore, stated that government is working hand in hand with international organisations in order to address issues of gender based violence against women and children in the country.
The alarming statistics have pushed activists to call for a march hoping to raise awareness on the matter.
Slated for this Thursday in the capital city, the march is expected to have both men and women participating and they will all be dressed in black as they make their way to deliver a petition to the ministry of gender.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga central constituency Frank Mwenefumbo has urged Malawians to forge ahead in demanding meaningful development projects rather than applauding government for single development projects
Mwenefumbo who is of the Alliance For Democracy (AFORD) party, cited the Karonga-Chitipa road as an example of how government is applauded when there is usually no need to do so.
This was revealed on Tuesday during a political rally in Chitipa district.
The Legislator emphasised that it is high time Malawians in the northern region particularly Karonga and Chitipa districts have been denied their right to development and continue to be blindfolded by the aforementioned road which acts as a campaign tool for the ruling parties to woe their vote.
“Much as we appreciate the fact that the Karonga-Chitipa road was constructed, we need more of such projects in the districts.
The people of Chitipa are in need of other projects like schools, hospitals as well as the profitable Chitipa to Nthalire via Rumphi road that leads to Nyika national park,” added the legislator.
Apart from tackling the issue of development in the northern region, Mwenifumbo also addressed the current scramble for Lake Malawi with Tanzania at the rally.
The MP is of the view that if Capital Hill maintained its relationship with Dodoma it would do the country more good than harm.
He also believes that if government involved local leaders from Karonga and Chitipa the matter would be resolved amicably.