Daily Archives: January 9, 2019

German Government to invest in Bioenergy for Malawi

The Government of Germany is considering starting a new cooperation with Malawi Government in the field of Bioenergy in order to boost the country’s energy sector.

German Federal Minister of Economic Corporation and Development, Dr Gerd Muller said this at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday in an audience with President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika.

The remarks come amidst Mutharika’s acknowledgement of the country’s challenges in the energy sector.

Muller said there is need for Germany and Malawi governments to identify where implementation of programmes of this sector can be done in future considering the huge potential that Malawi has in Bioenergy.

This country has a huge potential with regards to biomass, water, wind or solar energy. We need to expand on this sector, he said.

Muller observed that developing energy does not only happen in cities but throughout the country, as such, there is need to intensify efforts in the energy sector using the locally available resources to reach out to all corners of the country.

He said the decentralized form of energy such as Bioenergy is vital for improving rural livelihoods which can benefit small scale farmers.

We will try to win investors to come to Malawi and invest, especially in the energy sector. We must take the sector forward in this country, he said.

President Mutharika acknowledged the serious challenges that Malawi is facing in the energy sector which he said needs urgent attention.

Malawi is facing serious challenges in the energy sector because of climate change and a drop in the water levels in the lake. We would like to diversify the power sector to other areas such as renewable energy, wind, solar and thermal among others, said Mutharika.

The drop in water levels in Lake Malawi has led to reduced amount of water required to generate enough power.

The president disclosed that the energy sector in the country has been liberated such that private sectors can come in.

On this note, Mutharika invited the German companies to come and participate in the energy sector in order to give the sector the much needed boost.

Germany is assisting Malawi in areas of agriculture, education as well as health and infrastructure which have received a total of 250 million Euros (over K206 billion) worth of support.

Malawi and Germany have embarked on negotiations on which projects to take in 2019 valued at 58 million Euros (over K48 billion).

The support to agriculture sector is meant to improve connectivity by establishing an agriculture centre in Malawi which will increase value creation and connectivity thereby achieving fair pricing and fair trade.

Malawi and Germany have been in bilateral partnership for 55 years now.

Source: MANA Online

MEC chairperson urges people in the northern region to patronize voter verification exercise

Chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Dr. Jane Ansah has urged the electorate in the northern region to ensure that they verify their names during the ongoing voter verification exercise.

Speaking Monday in an interview after conducting supervision visits to some voter verification centers in Chitipa, Ansah said the commission is pleased to note that some registered voters were verifying their names through Short Message Service (SMS).

She said the use of mobile phone messaging, has contributed to increased number of people having their names verified.

All registered voters need to verify their names for them to be assured of their participation in the 2019 Tripartite Elections, said Ansah.

She said over 300,000 registered voters had verified their names through SMS by the end of phase three of the exercise.

”We are pleased to note that the exercise is going on well despite a few irregularities, said Ansah.

She said there have been no cases of missing registered voters since the commencement of the exercise.

”This is a confirmation that despite being the first time for the commission to register people through the biometric registration, the voters register is clean and credible,” said Ansah.

After the supervision exercise, the MEC chairperson, together with some District Elections Taskforce Team (DEST) for Chitipa donated assorted items to expectant women at Chitipa District Hospital where she encouraged the women to vote during the forthcoming tripartite elections.

In his remarks, District Nursing Officer for Chitipa, Seleman Kondowe commended Ansah for donating to the women and for taking the voter verification exercise awareness to the hospital.

Source: MANA Online

MEC chairperson urges people in the northern region to patronize voter verification exercise

Chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Dr. Jane Ansah has urged the electorate in the northern region to ensure that they verify their names during the ongoing voter verification exercise.

Speaking Monday in an interview after conducting supervision visits to some voter verification centers in Chitipa, Ansah said the commission is pleased to note that some registered voters were verifying their names through Short Message Service (SMS).

She said the use of mobile phone messaging, has contributed to increased number of people having their names verified.

All registered voters need to verify their names for them to be assured of their participation in the 2019 Tripartite Elections, said Ansah.

She said over 300,000 registered voters had verified their names through SMS by the end of phase three of the exercise.

”We are pleased to note that the exercise is going on well despite a few irregularities, said Ansah.

She said there have been no cases of missing registered voters since the commencement of the exercise.

”This is a confirmation that despite being the first time for the commission to register people through the biometric registration, the voters register is clean and credible,” said Ansah.

After the supervision exercise, the MEC chairperson, together with some District Elections Taskforce Team (DEST) for Chitipa donated assorted items to expectant women at Chitipa District Hospital where she encouraged the women to vote during the forthcoming tripartite elections.

In his remarks, District Nursing Officer for Chitipa, Seleman Kondowe commended Ansah for donating to the women and for taking the voter verification exercise awareness to the hospital.

Source: MANA Online

Dedza Police nab Chamba smugglers

Police in Dedza have arrested two men for allegedly possessing cannabis sativa which they wanted to illegally smuggle to Mozambique.

According to Dedza Police Deputy Spokesperson, Constable Cassim Manda, the two have been identified as Fungai Barai, 32 years of Mozambican nationality and Mafosha Banda, 35 of Matunduluzi village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kawamba in Kasungu district.

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency, Manda said the two suspects were arrested at Sukwasukwa in the district by police officers who were on patrol.

“As police officers were conducting patrols in the area, they came across a motor vehicle registration number NU676 parked along the dusty road. Upon searching the vehicle they discovered a bag of cannabis sativa,” he said.

Police later confiscated the bag and they have since taken the two suspects into custody at Dedza police station.

The two suspects will answer the charge of being found in possession of cannabis sativa as stipulated in section 4 sub section (a) as read with regulation 19 sub section 1 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Source: MANA Online

MJ chief claims people with HIV/AIDS are sidelined in development

Senior Chief Chikumbu of Mulanje has raised concern saying people living with HIV and AIDS in her area are constantly sidelined in development projects because of inadequate awareness amongst communities.

Senior Chief Chikumbu was speaking at Khaya Primary School ground in the area when Malawi Network of AIDS Services Organisation (MANASO) organised an open day aimed at sensitizing traditional leaders and community members on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Management Act.

People living with HIV and AIDS in my area are subjected to various forms of abuses and discrimination. They are not included in most initiatives designed to protect the poor like public works and social cash transfer programmes because communities perceive them to be weak or unhealthy to partake in such projects, she said.

It is a pity that some traditional leaders are in the forefront sidelining such people in development when tasked to provide names of vulnerable people in their area, the traditional leader lamented.

Chief Chikumbu, therefore, described such behaviour as unacceptable in her area and advised community leaders as well as her subjects to end discrimination, saying such behaviour is a setback to development and a violation of human rights.

She, therefore, commended MANASO for sensitizing people on HIV and AIDS prevention and management, saying it would go a long way in reducing discrimination.

Chikumbu added that this would also change people’s perception towards those living with the virus so that they too can fully participate in national development activities.

I hope the messages brought today will change the mindset of people to see PLWHA just as normal people capable of contributing to development so that their human rights are not infringed upon, Chikumbu said.

Giving her testimony, Mary Kayange who was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 said people living with HIV and AIDS are productive in the community provided they adhere to medication.

When I was first diagnosed with HIV, I feared that it was the end of my life as a woman who relies heavily on farming to feed my family. But I was assured that by taking ARVs, I would be healthy enough to till the land and do carry out other household chores.

Six years have now gone and I am still farming and taking care of my family without problems, people cannot even tell that I am positive, Kayange testified.

MANASO Programmes Manager, Grace Massah said it was important for citizens to familiarize themselves with the new HIV and AIDS Prevention and Management Act considering that it addresses issues regarding people living with HIV and their human rights.

We secured funding from UN Women to implement the Tikhale Tcheru project which is community-led to eliminate violence against women and girls, Massah said.

She said through the project, MANASO is also sensitizing community leaders on the new HIV Prevention and Management Law in three districts of Karonga, Salima and Mulanje where she observed HIV prevalence is high.

Massah added that knowledge of the law would benefit communities as people would now be able to know if their rights are being violated and be able to take the offenders to court.

She also stressed the need for people to familiarize themselves with the new Act which has provisions set to end discrimination.

Source: MANA Online