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Monthly Archives: April 2017

By CHIFUNDO DUNFORD ZINGUNDE

Mzuzu Police station is keeping in custody a man for allegedly killing his friend over 100 kwacha at Zigwagwa Market in Mzuzu City.

According to a press statement released by Mzuzu Police Station, the suspect, Garden Soko, 28 years old had a quarrel with Nelson Ndhlovu aged 28 years over money issues.

“Ndhlovu promised to give a K100 to the suspect, only to reverse the decision later. This angered Soko who grabbed the deceased on the neck and squeezed him heavily. The deceased was taken to Mzuzu Central Hospital and was pronounced dead upon arrival,” reads part of the statement.

A postmortem conducted by Mzuzu Central Hospital revealed that Soko died due to suffocation.

The matter was reported to Mzuzu Police Station and the suspect was arrested, pending for trial where he will answer the charge of murder contrary to section 209 of the penal code.

The suspect comes from Thomas Ndhlovu Village, Traditional Authority Chulu in Kasungu District and the deceased hails from Sinda Village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District.

 

 

 

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Mzuzu Diocese recently rescued 46 under aged girls from early marriages in Mzimba District through Women and Girls Rights and Access to Justice Project.

In an interview, CCJP Coordinator Arnold Msimuko said the project has registered great success since its inception in Mzimba.

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Arnold Msimuko making presentation on the success and challenges the project face- Mzimba

“We have managed to rescue 46 girls who are below 18 from forced marriages and some have even gone back to school,” said Msimuko.

He further said that despite the success stories the project has registered; still there are some challenges such as the tendency by some parents who force the girls to go back to their husbands after being rescued.

Msimuko then appealed to parents and guardians to take part in rehabilitating the girls taken from early marriages so that they should not go back to where they got married.

The Board Chairperson of the Commission Phillip Nkunika applauded CCJP for promoting girl child education in the region.

“On behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese, I commend CCJP on their role in making sure women and girls’ rights are respected and protected in their communities,” said Nkunika.

The Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice for Mzuzu Diocese with support from Misereor Germany have been implementing the project to increase the awareness of women and girls rights.

 

 

 

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

Catholic Reverend Bishop John Alphonsus Ryan of Mzuzu Diocese has appealed to all Malawians to take a leading role in conserving the environment.

Speaking at his homily at St Patrick’s Seminary in Rumphi during the Eucharistic celebration of St Patrick, the patron saint of the seminary, Bishop Ryansays people have a role to play in taking care of the environment. According to Bishop Ryan, the environment is deterioratingat an alarming rate, a thing which is causing climate change and a negative impact on humans.

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Bishop John Ryan: watering a tree he planted at St Patrick’s Seminary-Rumphi (photo-Kambuzi)

“Ourworld is crying out for healing. We have destroyed the once-beautiful environment that God created and this has negatively affected us as we are experiencing erratic rainfall.” Said Ryan.

The Bishop further urged seminarians to work hard in their studies in order to be responsible citizens in the future on conserving the environment.

Since hisconsecration as Bishop ofMzuzu Diocese about a year ago, Bishop Ryan has been a flag carrier on conserving the environment. He has launched a number of tree planting exercises in different places, the latest of which was at Nkhamenya.

 

 

By Norah Phiri

Tikwere, a radio program is part of an effort to improve the teaching and learning conditions in early  classes in Malawi primary schools. In addition to that it also supports  and reinforces  the introduction of the new Primary Curriculum and Assessment Reform(PCAR).

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Image Source: International Development Division

However this program has created room for some teachers to be lazy. Chisangano Primary school in Encongolweni in Mzimba district is one of the school that is experiencing this kind of behavior.

Speaking in an interview, one of the teachers at the school, Sarah Nyambose, said it is true that some teachers are taking advantage of Tikwere program by not fully giving out their best when it comes to teaching.

“Sometimes teachers don’t teach and sometimes they just open the radio to the students without explain anything to them”, she said.

Nyambose continued to say this is becoming much of the problem because at this school, there already is inadequate teachers to cover all the classes properly.

“We only have seven teachers at this school and this means one teacher is supposed to teach all subjects and we still have a shortage of one teacher and it’s the headmaster who takes up the remaining class .If it happens that one of the teacher is sick or busy that means one class might not learn that day.” Said Nyambose.

Meanwhile while some primary school are taking advantages of this program, some schools are rejoicing and are benefiting with the help of Tikwere.

Mathews Kachigamba, a teacher at Chitheka primary school says they are privileged with the help of Tikwere because it makes work easier and it helps the pupils to learn the exact thing with other schools at the same time.

By Blessings Kaunda

A Head teacher, and Chairperson of Kambulaudzu Primary School are being accused of misplacing about two million kwacha meant for school development. The school has no quality student blocks, toilets, and teachers’ houses.

The school is in Kabuwa zone among five other schools. Kambulaudzu receives a lot of money from the District Education Manager, compared to other schools in the zone to improve learning and teaching rooms, teachers’ houses, and to employ assistant teachers just. Since 2013 the school has received more than two million kwacha but no noticeable development has taken place.

The deputy Head teacher of the school explained that the school has no toilets and teachers’ houses are in bad condition. He accused the Headteacher of planning everything in the absence of staff members.

“Since the development started the head teacher has not held a meeting to discuss how much the government has pumped at our school and how we should allocate the money. Up to now classrooms have no floor and some learners learn in teachers houses. Only sixty thousand kwacha has been released to buy stationary. ” said Banda.

It could be time that Kambulaudzu Primary School breathed another life if they used the money in a proper way. To his part the Headteacher denied the accusations but failed to further comment on the matter.

 

BY BRAINMORE ZIMBA

No electricity at Dwasulu CDSS

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The day the project had started brought joy to many. Many thought of how the new development will positively change things around. Dwasulu Community Day Secondary School has had no electricity since its official opening more than two decades ago. Situated in the North of Nkhotakota in Senior Group Village Head Kamkondo under Traditional Authority Kanyenda, it is the only secondary school without electricity in the area.

Then came the electricity wiring project; a development that would leave the school with argon and fluorescent lights. Five years of wiring have elapsed now, but the school is yet to get connected to the main supplier, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM).

The delay according to Parent Teacher Association Chairperson of the school, MacDonald Chitanje, is due to failure by the District Council to provide them with a power transformer.

Chitanje also confirmed that although a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkhotakota North where the school is also located Henry Chimunthu Banda paid for the transformer and other necessities to the council, nothing concrete has been done.

“ESCOM surveyors told us that we should have our own transformer in 2011. We addressed the issue to our then Member of Parliament (MP) Henry Chimunthu Banda and he covered the expenses through District Council but up today nothing has happened.”  Said Chitanje.

He also added that he has been following up the issue and has been visiting the council for more than three times but things still remain incapacitated.

Deputy Headteacher of the school, Zex Banda, concurred with Chitanje that Nkhotakota District Office is in custody of documents showing that Dwasulu CDSS had paid the electricity application fees but at the District Council the documents are conspicuously missing.

Joseph Chibwana, a retired teacher at Dwasulu CDSS since 2011 is bitter with the delays by authorities among others he cites some opportunities lost.

Through telephone interviews Chibwana said: “A certain potential Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) promised to supply the school with computers if and only if electricity gets connected at the school. The school has lost a big opportunity.”

The current MP for the constituency, Frank Mphande has not yet commented on the matter as his mobile phone has been out of reach for several times.

BY BRAINMORE ZIMBA

A 35 year-old woman and her children are leaving in pathetic life following last year’s heavy rains that collapsed many houses, leaving some dead in Mzuzu.

House of Mnkhondya

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The woman, Agness Mnkhondya, whose part of the house collapsed due to the heavy rains resides in Hilltop residential area, has trouble walking because a wall fell on her legs and left her severely injured .

According to, Mnkhondya, a mother of three, she is failing to look after her family properly as she cannot walk properly as she used to and running her small scale business to support her family is now a challenge.

“We were in sleep last year in April when part of my house collapsed and the wall of my bed room I used to sleep in fell over my legs. I was rushed to Mzuzu hospital by well-wishers where I spent three months. Currently I can barely walk and working is hard for me.” said Mnkhondya.

Instead her first child, Dalitso (not real name), assumes the responsibility taking care of the family by selling tomatoes and vegetables, after school, a thing which forces Dalitso to missing most classes.

As a standard 8 pupil, Dalitso feels like with the responsibility she is underking now, she might not fully get prepared to pass the forth coming Primary School Leaving Examinations.

“I always get to school late because I have to make sure house chore has been properly done. At school it becomes difficult to concentrate because of the situation at home,I always think about my mother and how we are going to sustain ourselves financially.” Said Dalitso.

However, despite being treated as an outpatient, Mnkhondya complains that she did not recover enough as she feels general pains of her body.

While the house she is leaving in is visibly not in good condition, Mnkhondya is not married such that she has no one else, apart from her children, to offer her help.

Hilltop is one of the residential areas in Mzuzu that was hit by massive floods in the previous year. The residents seems to have not taken seriously the City Council’s advice of relocating to higher ground residential areas as the residents are still there, waiting for another hard-hitting floods perhaps!

 

By Wellngton Mtengula (citizen journalist)

Chibavi Primary School in Mzuzu will soon be using biogas, new technology for cooking porridge for learners at the school. The technology has been implemented with support from The Centre for Community Organization Development (CCOD) and Mzuzu University through the Department of Energy and Renewable Technology.

According to Chrispin Gogoda who is one of the lecturers at Mzuzu University, the technology has the mechanism of producing methane gas which is combustible and generated from human waste hence used for cooking.

“This technology comes in to reduce over dependent of fuel wood which most people are using for cooking porridges for learners in primary schools,” said Gogoda.

Gogoda added that the department also first did a survey on how they can include issues of environment considering if the system can have some effects on human life. To his remark, biogas technology is environmental friendly and in the long run helps to balance the ecosystem.

Commenting on the matter, the headteacher of the school, Ethel Kaluwa said the project which started in 2016 will assist to reduce the overreliance on firewood and charcoal, a thing which leads to proliferating human behavior of irresponsible cutting down of tress.

“We run short of source of heat energy most of the time because we depend on firewood. We have been forcing pupils to bring firewood since we don’t have any choice. The coming of this biogas will not only help us for cooking but also reduce the cutting down of trees.” said Kauwa.

The biogas project in primary schools which started last year is funded by The UN Habitat through CCOD and is expected to be completed by March this year. In Mzuzu a number of schools like Chiputula, Ipiana, are among the beneficiaries of the project.