Journalists are not trouble markers: ode to #Malawi media

On 1st November 2014 Weekend Nation newspaper published an investigative piece on corruption and malpractices at immigration offices in Blantyre, particularly its passport-issuing department/ section. It was a refreshing piece of journalism that is becoming rare these days, not only in Malawi but across the boarders as well. The Weekend Nation team that worked on the story deserve a pat on the back. Over the years it has become a cliché to call the news media the ‘watchdog’, the ‘fourth estate’ etc. in relation to journalists’ public service role. All these underline the fact that journalism is public service. At Continue reading

President Mutharika must not demand from Malawians what his govt won’t do

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” ~ Thomas Paine It looks like the reality of the so-called Zero-Aid Budget is slowly sinking in; it is now at the intersection where wishes and reality collide. For the first time President Peter Mutharika has publicly appealed to Malawians and corporations to honour their tax obligations as his government is slowly coming to terms with absence of up to 40% of budgetary support, which donors are withholding due to Cashgate, and the government’s subsequent failure to satisfactorily address the issue by bringing to Continue reading

Making Democracy Work for Malawi

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” ~ Gore Vidal A 2013 International Monitory Fund (IMF) working paper prepared by Christian Ebeke and Dilan Ölçer established that in Low-Income countries elections have negative impact on a country’s fiscal discipline during the election year and two years following those elections. The paper finds that during elections period “government consumption significantly increases and leads to higher fiscal deficits.” The paper further Continue reading