Thursday, March 28, 2013

AIRTEL GAGGING MALAWIANS

TO: THE DIRECTOR, MACRA MALAWI

FROM: AIRTEL MALAWI CUSTOMER

DATE: 28th MARCH, 2013

RE: COMPLAINT ON THE UNREASONABLE TARRIFF HIKES BY AIRTEL MALAWI

The above subject refers.

As a customer of Airtel Malawi, I would like to lodge a complaint on the tariffs introduced by Airtel Malawi.

Much as I acknowledge that the economic situation is challenging for companies to make profits, I also feel that the tariff hike introduced by Airtel is punitive and ridiculous.

The hiking of the across networks sms tariff (by over 100%), the cost of an internet bundle vis-a-vis the Mbs given (hiked with almost 500%) and the hiked tariff of phone calls has not only injected much pain to me as their consumer but also has let the company cut across as one bent on stealing from Malawians in the name of offering communication services.

If indeed Airtel Malawi is here to provide services then I request that it should urgently review its tariffs, taking into consideration the complaints raised by some of its customers of which I am an integral part.

As a regulatory body, it is my humble plea that you engage Airtel Malawi on this issue as a matter of urgency before we slide back into an era of minus cellphones which, any sane individual can agree, is a straitjacket to development as the enshrined in the country's Constitution.
Your urgent response to this matter of urgency will be greatly appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Customer name (Phone number)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Revealing Bright Msaka and His DPP's Candidacy: How Did it Begin and Where Does it End

Msaka is yet to confirm the rumours
It is allegedly 'claimed' that Bright Msaka will contest at the forthcoming DPP’s convention as vice president.
Msaka is facing treason charges after being implicated in the Singini Report that he conspired with others, guilt as charged, to prevent Joyce Banda, the legal heir to the presidency, from taking the country's leadership throne.
Msaka is currently on bail as the competition for positions in DPP hots up.
The bookmakers, with Peter wa Mutharika in the cooler, are pinning Chimunthu Banda as the potential candidate to get the nod among the blues.
During its time, DPP brought in retrogressive laws; changed the country's flag and forex and fuel reserves were running dry. At the black market contaminated fuel was selling at around MK1,500.
However, one commentator asked the rationality of giving back the country the dungeons of DPP, known for its archaic manner of governance.
"Would it be wise to bring back the same DPP govt that brought the mess in which we are now? Malawians cried bitterly for regime change just before the demise of Peter Mutharika's brother, Bingu wa Mutharika. 
"Now we want to bring back the same team that we wanted out. Are we really serious minded people? I see lack of foresight in this. Peter is unlike his brother Bingu, [Huuh?]. 
"Muzakhumudwa muzandiuza...We have various candidates with sober minds and clear conscious who are standing in 2014. You and I can help shape the future of this country and Peter Mutharika is not the right person to carry us forward, just as DPP is not the party Malawians need at the moment". 
Another political analyst from the University of Malawi, reasoned by comparing DPP with MCP's one party regime.
"DPP just want revenge on JB. Like Bakili Muluzi's attempts to come back, either in 2009 or now through his son, Atupere, largely to avoid the corruption charges currently on his shoulder, DPP has no welfare of Malawians at heart. They have their own hidden agenda.
"Like MCP, during the one party system, we saw how violent and vicious DPP's regime was. DPP was ruling by creating fear in people. And would do everything to get back the throne, even when it means through unconstitutional ways as reported in the recent Singini report. My inside sources also claimed that DPP even forged a resignation letter for JB to confuse Malawians." 
The academician added, "This party killed many Malawians, locked people for no reasons. Activists like Billy Mayaya were locked up. Politicians were locked up. Innocent lives losts. Houses and Offices were bombed. Do we need party welding bandits back in the streets again?"
As a blogger, I will not take side. However, others have claimed that if Msaka joins DPP, it could be a huge blow to the UDF camp.
Well known blogger, Wise One from the East, wrote: "I would happily part with US$1,000 for a ring-side seat to watch what promises to be the nothing but a royal rumble, complete with the baddest men in Malawi, fighting to be the last man standing. Imagine a royal rumble where the competitors are all saints, with no allegations (proven or not to their name) upright men and women who will not cheat, and who will say 'pepa' after giving an opponent a stone cold stunner! Would it sell? Of course, noone would pay! And so Pearson, get ready for the royal rumble, Malawi style! Get on the next flight brother"
The Wise One, added:  On a serious note, if Msaka competes in parliamentary race on DPP ticket, he will erode some of UDF's votes in Machinga. The "darfur" war will become even more interesting! The problem this poses for UDF is that Atcheya and UDF have been banking on Msaka being "theirs" and now if this is true, he has joined the other side. Lucky us who do not have to cheat people (to campaign) to make our bread and butter!
But another well known writer and columnists on Malawi's social welfare, Sembe Gondwe reasoned, "Msaka [could be doing] the AKB...When everybody expected AKB to join AFORD,  when he was released from jail, [he] resulted into joining UDF".
What I know, personally, is that this may mean, probable convicts vying for DPP's top position. The implication is that such a move could leave DPP without candidates in 2014 if the courts find them guilty as charged. UDF found themselves in a similar position in 2009 when Bakili Muluzi was declared ineligible to contest.
But how did it start? My questions: Did the Singini Report, as well as the arrest and sharing of the same cell with Peter Mutharika change the administrator within Msaka to that of a politician? Or was he already a politician 'hiding' in the administrator's skin when he converged with DPP's bigwigs on how to prevent JB from taking the seat as alleged in the Singini Report? Was it within Msaka, the politician rather than the administrator, that he issued that press release for JB? 
Dear readers, you can find different answers to these questions. Thus, I will avoid answering them as a blogger least I be found guilty. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Trappings of Power (in Malawi)


On 6 April, I was in Blantyre when I was asked to immediately travel to the office of the Attorney General in Lilongwe for an emergency meeting. When I arrived, the Attorney General informed me that the President had died, and that the Minister of Justice who was present in the room had instructi...ons for us. Chiume then informed me that he had instructions from the Cabinet that the Attorney General together with me and other government lawyers should look at how the Vice President could be prevented from taking over.

Chiume repeatedly emphasized that we were to use any means necessary. Upon discussing the matter, we informed the Minister that we were not going to do anything illegal but that there was merit in trying to get an injunction against the immediate succession of the vice president to the presidency. The reasoning here was that there was already pending in the constitutional court a referral which was questioning the legitimacy of the Vice President maintaining her position in light of conduct which seemed to suggest that she had resigned.

The legal documents for the injunction were frantically put together, but astonishingly, when Chiume was asked to sign the affidavits, he declined and suggested that Goodall Gondwe, then Minister of Energy and Mining, and DPP first Vice President, should sign it. The significance of his refusal was to come to light later as he was the first Minister to defect from the DPP to the Joyce Banda’s PP. Even more revealing was the fact that Chiume now started pointing fingers at his former ministerial colleagues in the DPP, claiming that they had hatched a plot to prevent Banda from taking over the presidency in preference to the Mutharika’s brother, Peter...." [Trappings of Power- Z Allan Ntata]


Z Allan Ntata
Credits: Trappings of Power published by: Z Allan Ntata

As people talk about the report of the Cmmission of Inquiry into the circumstances of the death of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, who I personally did not fancy that much for I 'consider' the man as an autocrat; I think this piece here says a lot to what JB took aboard.
 
How could 'such' people move the country forward. JB is the best president! However, no matter how good the pirate ship is, it needs the best hands to paddle it at the right speed, even when the captain is Jack Sparrow. Of course, I have to acknowledge that the captain of the ship should also be innovative and visionary in his/(her) managerial skills.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

No One is Safe Now! When The World's Most Lovingly Wanted Dies

By Bright Malopa

New York gets busy in September. Streets are often closed because of presidential motorcades and people would crowd the streets to see presidents passing by amidst tight security. Of all the presidents, four people stood out in as far as pulling the masses on to the streets is concerned.
They would be the American President, Gadaffi, Ahmednajad and Hugo Chavez. They would also attract the most demonstrations outside the UN apart from China. Of all the four presidents, Only Hugo Chavez would go to the General Assembly on foot without the motorcade pomp and visibly armed security.
Meanwhile, thousands of people would rally behind him singing and chanting Hugo! Hugo! Hugo! He would then walk down to where demonstrators on various ills around the world ranging from Tibet, Iran, and Zimbabwe to climate change to mention but a few, congregate. All over a sudden, silence will engulf the demonstrators, and then a wave and a kiss from Hugo to the protestors would be received by a wild response of Hugo!Hugo!Hugo. This is how I remember Hugu Chavez, when I saw him for the first time.
As I go through the headlines now flooding most cables today, I think of him as a man who was loved by the poor and the marginalized. I think of a man who was toppled by the army and brought back to power by the masses within two days. Am not surprised that Countries such as Argentina have declared three days of national mourning whilst Cuba is grieving and grappling with life without Hugo. I hear a few other countries are pondering on the same.
The job of a president though enviable is the most funniest. They are never alone. The ever presence of security means they don’t have private life. Everything gets done for them including opening doors, and pulling out chairs. Before they know it, they get cut off from the people who voted them into office and the real world and suck themselves into the government machinery where they push varying interests for other people but it seems to me, that Hugo Chavez was different.
He never forgot his people, he lived with them ate their food and fought their battles .This is were leaders should be;on the side of the people and that’s why Venezuela, Latin America and the socialist community at large is in deep mourning on the passing of a valiant man. RIP Hugo Chavez
 
Credits: Bright Malopa had published this piece on one of the facebook forums discussing social issues concerning Malawi. I asked for his permission to publish it here. After reading this article repeatedly, I think I should go and watch the film: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, starring Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas. Or,  should I wait and watch this film during the Mothers' Day (i.e. International Women's Day)?