Late President Mutharika picked up a fight with donors
Late President Mutharika picked up a fight with donors
The UK has finally unlocked budget support to Malawi more than a year after it stopped supporting the national budget over economic mismanagement and governance concerns.

In a statement on Friday the UK Department for International Development (DFID) announced emergency budget support and released 20 million pounds for the current fiscal year.

“President [Joyce] Banda’s government has taken some tough but necessary decisions to stabilise the economy and create conditions where growth can flourish. In recognition of these efforts and the difficulties that Malawi is facing, the UK is providing emergency funds for this financial year,” said Secretary of State for International Development,Justin Greening.

Calista pays her last respects in April this year.

The children of Malawi’s late President Bingu wa Mutharika have gone public to complain about how their step mother, Calista, is denying them access to their homestead in Thyolo, where Mutharika is buried.

“It saddens us deeply to be denied access to our homestead (The place of our parents are resting eternally) and threatened with police actions,” a statement signed by the three children said.

Mutharika married Calista on April 17, 2010, in a wedding bash many described as wasteful. He lost his first wife, Ethel to cancer while he was in power.

Late Mutharika’s only son Madalisto Mutharika, Tapiwa Mutharika and Duwa Mutharika – Mubaira, said in a press statement that the former first lady physically attacked one of them.

“The former first lady, with the help of her staff, physically confronted Madalitso Mutharika when he visited the Casablanca Manor, which is wholly owned and maintained by the Trust, ” reads the statement in part.

Malawi’s Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP ) on Thursday walked out of parliament in protest against the House Speaker after he refused to declare vacant 40 seats belonging to MPs who defected to the new ruling Party after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika in April.

DPP, the country’s main opposition and late Mutharika’s party, had petitioned the Speaker to remove 40 legislators who left and joined the People’s Party – new ruling party.

But Speaker  Henry Chimunthu Banda threw out the  petition on Section 65 — a law that stops legislators from joining another party other than the one that sponsored their candidature.

The protest by the DPP is a dramatic change of heart. When they were in power, they fought hard to repeal Section 65 which they describe as then, as unconstitutional;

The passing of the 2012/13 national budget by parliament will be crucial to the approval of the new IMF aid program for Malawi by the Fund’s executive board, a senior IMF official said on Wednesday.

Last week  the Fund said it had  reached a staff-level understanding with Malawi on an economic program for three that could be supported by a new Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement in the amount of SDR104 million (about US$157 million).

Late Mutharika: Introduced many repressive laws

Malawi’s Parliament on Wednesday repealed the controversial Section 46 of the Penal Code removing the powers of the Minister of Information to ban or prohibit any publication deemed undesirable.

Section 46 is one of the repressive laws that caused Malawi’s diplomatic isolation and an aid freeze from the country’s key Western donors.

Despite initial resistance from the former ruling party — DPP — who argued that  the Bill tabled did not fulfil the 28 days notice requirement, legislators from both sides of the House repealed it describing it as a threat to free speech and media freedom.

Out of the 19 invited Heads of State, only five are attending the Comesa summit, raising concerns  that Malaw’s  President Bingu wa Mutharika is increasingly being isolated by fellow African leaders

The turn up is far lower than the first summit Malawi hosted in 1994 when over 10 heads of states attended.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Munthrika’s all-time ally, King Mswati III of Swaziland,  Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Burundi President Pierre Nakaurunziza, and Prime Minister Muhammad Delita  are among the Heads States that have managed to come for the 30th Comesa Heads of State summit which ends today.

Neighbouring Zambia, in a diplomatic stand-off with Malawi, has sent its Vice President Guy Scot so has Kenya – east Africa’s biggest economy who have sent Vice President Stephen Kalonzo.