Nov 25, 2017 Last Updated 7:59 AM, Nov 24, 2017

The Magistrate court sitting in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu has again adjourned the case of a pastor who is answering defilement charges.

Philip Palibe Ndipo of New Covenant Assemblies of God is accused of defiling a 10 year old epileptic girl at Kalindira village.

The suspect, who is on court bail, appeared before the court on Wednesday.

During the day, the state paraded its last witness to testify against the accused.

In his testimony, state witness presented to the court a medical report from Kandeu Health Centre which indicates the girl was indeed defiled.

However upon hearing testimony from both state witnesses and the accused, First Grade Magistrate Crispin Sachuluka adjourned the case to 15 of November this year.

Magistrate Sachuluka disclosed this is the day the court will continue hearing the case since the accused wanted to parade his own witness as well.

50 year old preacher is answering a case of defilement which contravenes section 138 of the Penal Code to which he has pleaded not guilty.

He was arrested in September this year by members of community before he was later handed over to the police.

The social cash transfer program being implemented by Malawi government through the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has received a huge boost from the Irish Aid.

This follows donation of motor vehicles as well as motorcycles each to ten district councils that have just been included in the program.

Each Council has been given two Toyota Land cruiser vehicles as well as two Yamaha motorcycles to ease mobility challenges when implementing the program.

Speaking to Capital FM, National Coordinator for the program described the donation as timely.

Charles Chabuka revealed that since the program requires a lot of traveling, the donated items will help to address mobility challenges.

"You might be aware that currently we are into data collection to identify beneficiaries in the newly incorporated districts.

Therefore coming in of these vehicles and motorcycles will go along way when it comes to traveling from places to places to identify beneficiaries," explained Chabuka.

Ntcheu District Council Director of Administration assured to take good care of the of the donated items in order to sustain the program.

Hastings Mulambuzi disclosed the items will be used for its intended purpose hence downplay any abuse to them.

For the past years, social cash transfer program has been running in 18 districts across the country and recently was rolled out to remaining 10 districts.

It started around 2016 with Mchinji being the pilot district.

The program seeks to alleviate poverty, hunger and starvation in the targeted households.

It is also aimed at improving health, nutrition and education conditions of children living in those households.

Various partners are supporting the program which include Irish Aid, UNICEF and the Malawi Government.

A Nongovernmental Organisation (NGO), based in Ntcheu district has drilled boreholes to ease the challenges communities go through in accessing safe drinking water.

 The organisation, Save Widows and Orphans Foundation (SWOF) has drilled two boreholes in the area of Traditional Authority Mpando.

Communities from Zidana, Nyaka, Malili and Lopati villages are among the beneficiaries of the two boreholes.

The provision of the water points comes against challenges communities faced as they had to walk long distances to get water.

It also follows complaints from the same communities who were drawing water from unprotected water sources resulting to water borne diseases.

Speaking to Capital FM, benefiting communities from respective villages conceded of numerous challenges in accessing portable and safe drinking water.

Natives reveal of covering long distances of over 5 kilometers to get safe water for consumption.

However, they disclose that with the boreholes provided to them cases of water borne diseases among other challenges will now be addressed.

The organisations founder and director stated that the water points will help to address water challenges communities were facing before.

Naomi Chidiwa however challenged the communities to be on guard in taking good care of the boreholes for sustainability.

With support from Project Wellness a Canadian based organisation, the Malawian based organisation has spent over MK8 million to drill the two boreholes.

The two water points have added the number of boreholes they’ve drilled in three years to a total of 18.

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.

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