Tag Archives: Malawi

The dangerous accountability deficit in Malawi’s health sector

By Annabel Raw Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is heavily dependent on aid. About 40% of its annual budget comes from international donors. However, following the revelation of a massive corruption scandal dubbed “cashgate”, donors have been slashing their disbursements. In October, the IMF also suspended loans to Malawi…

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Under fire SADC media must build alliances with citizens

The recent release of veteran journalist and editor Bheki Makhubu from a Swaziland jail should have been a momentous occasion for media freedom and freedom of expression activists in southern Africa. Instead, it has turned out to be a missed opportunity to inspire confidence, re-energise practitioners and consumers alike, and call the bluff on repressive…

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Fighting TB with prisoners’ rights

By Annabel Raw Today is World Tuberculosis Day, commemorating the discovery of the cause of the disease in 1882. Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease with traces in human remains being recorded since antiquity. Despite advances in public health and treatment, today TB continues to claim over one and a half million lives every year,…

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Joyce Banda, neither saint nor sinner

Written with Lindiwe Makhunga* The defeat of incumbent Joyce Banda in Malawi’s recent and controversial presidential elections, raises some uncomfortable but necessary questions about what constitutes collective expectations of women’s formal leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. On Saturday, Peter Mutharika of Malawi’s Democratic Progressive Party emerged as the winner with 36.4% of the vote, Lazarus Chakwera…

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Malawigate, the president is human, all too human

“Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.” — William Safire One Khoi-Khoi Ramailane publicly posted on Facebook (FB) on 24/10/2013 about the furore regarding the president’s unfortunate remarks earlier in the week. I am sure you know about these remarks and I needn’t quote them again….

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When Uncle Mac gets spun

Oh, the president’s wit. The president’s wit. What is it, about the president’s wit? Let me just try get a few things out the way: Is there something about his lack of delivery that gets us all riled up instead of laughing? Is it timing? Is it that he does not know his audience well…

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President Zuma, not in our name!

It is a very sad day in the life of Africans when those who are tasked with the responsibility of championing unity undermine it. This morning was saddening for the delegation of South Africa that is attending the Land and Agrarian Reform Conference taking place in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, a delegation that…

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Tsvangirai, it’s time to step up or step down

To anyone who has been paying close attention to developments in Zimbabwe since 2009 – after the formation of the government of national unity (GNU) – the 2013 election result was almost a forgone conclusion. Governments of national unity, as I have written elsewhere, create a false sense of security and unity in deeply polarised…

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Bribing politicians to honour gay rights

In November 2012, Malawi’s first female president, Joyce Banda, temporarily suspended anti-gay laws, urging debate. Instead of acknowledging these laws as inhumane, reports suggest that Malawi feared losing money from liberal Western donors who insist that sexual minorities be protected. Gay rights are in vogue for Western funders, the European Union has already given 1.8 million…

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Will Banda’s international ‘success’ be her downfall?

Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, has been somewhat of a revelation ever since she assumed office in April 2012 following the death of then president, Bingu wa Mutharika. At the time, Malawi was facing all manner of problems — food, fuel and forex shortages — symbolised by long queues at shops and at service stations. Add…

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