Jan 21, 2018 Last Updated 8:52 PM, Jan 19, 2018

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The US Embassy in Malawi says Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compacts are not extended in any country. The MCC’s compact with Malawi comes to an end in September 2018. 

In November last year, MCC released its 2018 scorecard which rates a country’s performance in a number of indicators for the successful implementation of the compact. 

In the report, MCC said “Malawi continued to pass MCC’s scorecard by meeting the requirement of passing at least half of the 20 indicators overall, including the hard hurdles of Control of Corruption and Democratic Rights.”

The September closure therefore has nothing to do with corruption.

Speaking this week following a review meeting of the MCC Board of Directors in December, Edward Monster, Public Affairs Officer at the US embassy in Lilongwe, said “all MCC compacts are subject to a strict five year clock, and MCC’s current partnership with the Government of Malawi will end in September 2018.”

“Compacts are not extended in any country, which is why it is critical that the Government of Malawi successfully completes compact projects in this final year,” he said.

Monster added:  “Selection for a second compact is not automatic. Second compacts are very competitive and subject to higher expectations and greater scrutiny for MCC funding eligibility.

 

“When considering a second compact, MCC’s Board of Directors looks for successful implementation of the first compact; a commitment to sector reforms; and continued improvement on MCC’s scorecard, especially on issues of Democratic Rights and Control of Corruption,” he said.

 

He said there is a need for demonstration of a strong and successful close-out to the current compact, including adoption of an electricity tariff in line with the costs of maintaining and expanding the national system; conclusion of independent power purchase agreements; and sound corporate governance and financial stability of the electricity utility, ESCOM.

 

“The Government of Malawi must be focused on implementation of current efforts, including completion of infrastructure investments and necessary reforms in the power sector. 

 

“Implementing these investments will not only help move the Government toward its commitments to expanding economic opportunity, but successful implementation will also be important to MCC’s Board in considering future partnerships.”

 

The US$350 million compact is being implemented under Millennium Challenge Account-Malawi. 

 

Under the programme, Malawi has implemented several reforms in the energy sector. 

 

These include the unbundling of ESCOM. Until the split, ESCOM was responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country. 

To bring in efficiency in the sector, government established Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) which has taken over the generation responsibility from ESCOM. 

 

Other reforms include the liberalization of the sector, which has opened the door for Independent Power Producer who will also supply power to the national grid.

 

The compact has been helping Malawi to also rehabilitate and upgrade transmission lines so that they have a higher carrying capacity. 

 

Government is currently investing in a number of power projects to increase the current installed capacity, hence the need for stronger and higher capacity transmission lines.

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Radical and controversial Malawian prophet based in South Africa(Pretoria) Shepherd Bushiri hacked FNB Botswana in order to clean his dirty money mostly known as miracle money.

This came after FNB Botswana blocked all unknown transactions going into different accounts of Batswana beginning of this year(2018),the government of Botswana through its security agents (forensic experts) managed to see where everything started.

The government has also instructed ministry of home affairs to close all branches belonging to Bushiri's church ECG,it is reported that Bushiri use those different branches to steal,traffic money and money laundering.

The government of Botswana also accuse Bushiri for fueling division,terrorism and exploiting Batswana using the name of God,Bushiri is also reported to be involved in drug smuggling and illegal mining.

 

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Radical and controversial Malawian prophet based in South Africa(Pretoria) Shepherd Bushiri hacked FNB Botswana in order to clean his dirty money mostly known as miracle money.

This came after FNB Botswana blocked all unknown transactions going into different accounts of Batswana beginning of this year(2018),the government of Botswana through its security agents (forensic experts) managed to see where everything started.

The government has also instructed ministry of home affairs to close all branches belonging to Bushiri's church ECG,it is reported that Bushiri use those different branches to steal,traffic money and money laundering.

The government of Botswana also accuse Bushiri for fueling division,terrorism and exploiting Batswana using the name of God,Bushiri is also reported to be involved in drug smuggling and illegal mining.

 

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Sobo Orange Squash drink has been recalled from the market for reportedly being ‘unsafe’ as it has defects in its composition.

Consumers who have said the product had become “unfit for human consumption” and complained to Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).

The bureau boss Davlin Chokazinga confirmed about the complaints and said they running tests “to find out what went wrong.”

Some people, who have consumed the Sobo drink, said they had some stomach upsets.

In some cases the batch had started to show signs of fermentation – a process that converts sugar to acids, gases, or alcohol.

A privately-owned French beverage company, Castel Group, the new shareholders of the Sobo brand was unable to confirm reports that some of the product had already turned to alcohol.

But the company confirmed it has recalled two batches of the product for precautionary measure.

The company   said it has withdrawn batches number 286 and 287 of the drink from the market which targets 18 000 bottles.

Castel Group bought 59.48 percent stake from Carlsberg Malawi last year while Press Corporation Limited remained a minority shareholder with 39.65 percent.

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.As stock market turnover jumps 117.74 percent 

 

•Private sector acknowledges growing confidence in economy

 The private sector has attributed the doubling of the Malawi stock market turnover to sound macro-economic policies which President Peter Mutharika has been implementing.

The stock market has registered a turnover of K13.5 billion in 2017, up from K6.2 billion which the market registered in 2016. 

 The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) has attributed the impressive turnover to improvement in macro-economic indicators. 

MSE Operations Manager Esnat Chilije has cited stable exchange rate and the declining inflation rate and interest rate as having created ‘a favourable environment for business prosperity and sound performance of the stock market”. 

Chilije explained that most of the companies listed on the stock market indicated good performance in their end of year 2017 trading statements. 

Some of the companies on the MSE include Press Corporation, MPICO Limited and TNM. The profit for Press Corporation has grown with 90 per cent in 2017 more than their profit in 2016. 

Malawi Property Investment Company (MPICO) expects to register 100 per cent profit growth in 2017. 

Telecom Network Malawi (TNM) is expecting a 60 per cent phenomenal profit growth.

Armstrong Kamphoni, Chief Executive Officer for African Alliance, a continent-wide investment banking group, said the impressive MSE results were an indication of increased activity on the stock market. 

He said this shows positive signal of investors’ confidence to buy more shares on the exchange and at the right price. 

According to Kamphoni, these trends project a growing confidence in the economy and the prospect of listed companies doing well in the future. 

“This shows that the stock market responded well to movements in the economy; inflation hitting single digit, and reduction of the spread between interest [which] banks charge on deposits as compared to charges on loans, among others, which led to more investors coming in to buy more shares,” Kamphoni said.

  President Mutharika has placed priority on fixing the economy for Malawi to register sustainable development in other socio-economic sectors. 

Mutharika took over in May 2014 while inflation was over 30 percent and the economy battered by Cashgate which plundered treasury.

These led to the loss of confidence in the economy by the donors and domestic and foreign investors. 

The economy suffered further woes in the following two successive years as Malawi was hit by devastating floods in 2015 and then severe drought in 2016. 

But Mutharika’s sound economic management policies have seen the economy rising from out of the hole it was driven into and be on the path of recovery. 

As a result, among other improving indicators, the inflation has been steadily climbing down on a monthly basis from 20 percent in December 2016 to 7.7 percent in December 2017. 

Last month, the Reserve Bank of Malawi announced a reduction in policy rate from 18 percent to 16 percent, signaling potential cheaper loans for businesses. 

The value of the local currency has been stable against major trading currencies for more than two years now and Malawi’s forex reserves have risen to  3.7 months of import cover, above the international requirement of 3 months.

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