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MIJ

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.

By Thomas Kachere
Its six years now since Robert Chasowa, a Fourth Year Mechanical Engineering Student at Malawi Polytechnic died mysteriously on 24 September, 2011.

The Malawi Police Service says it has submitted a report to the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ministry on the probe of the murder of Chasowa who was killed by unknown assailants.

Last week, Minister of Justice and Constitution Affairs Samuel Tembenu accused the Malawi Police Service of delaying government to engage foreign investigators to probe the murder of Chasowa.

In January this year the minister said government will be engaging foreign investigators to establish what killed Chasowa following failure by the police to probe the matter.

According to the Commission of Enquiry which was commissioned by Former President Joyce Banda to probe Chasowa death, Robert was seized in the early hours of 24 September, 2011, after leaving the room of a female’s colleague at the college.

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“He was gagged. His resistance was overcome by use of shock sticks. The information that Robert was on campus on this night must have come from persons within campus. Robert was led away. He was assaulted to the head at least three times,” Part of the report reads.

But speaking to MIJ Fm, Tembenu said they have not yet hired the foreign investigators because the police had not yet submitted a report on the areas the foreign investigators would cover.

However, speaking to MIJ Fm, Malawi Police Service Spokesperson James Kadadzela confirmed that the police have submitted the report to the Ministry of Justice.

Kadadzela however could not give more information on the findings of the police as well as the areas which the police have failed to investigate arguing it will be the duty of the Ministry of Justice.

By Levison Chiumya

Scores of people around Masasa suburb in the outskirts of Mzuzu City are facing food shortages and other relief materials, MIJ can reveal. The revelations come during a recent visit by Social Organization Society (SOS) when it was donating assorted food and other relief items to the affected residents.

The visit, which was co-organized with Taonga Community-Based Organization saw about 146 families, and over 2000 children benefiting from the donations. According to SoS’ National Emergency Response Programmes coordinator, Steven Nyirenda, the donation is timely as it will assist in seeing off the beneficiaries up to the forthcoming harvesting season.

“Most of these beneficiaries lost their foodstuffs courtesy of the flash floods that had hit Masasa last year. We therefore believe the little that we’ve donated will assist them as they are preparing for the harvesting season, whereby, at least, some of these food stuffs become available,” He said.

Nyirenda also hopes that the gesture will assist in reducing the number of street beggars in the city.

“As you know SOS mostly targets vulnerable children, we felt we were obliged to take part in donating this food stuff to promote children’s life. In the end, we can have a lesser number of children flocking to the city’s street to beg,” Nyirenda explained.

On their part, recipients of the relief materials expressed gratitude towards the two organizations’ good will gestures. He continued to say that this is a special relief to the residents since the donation will assist in reducing some of the problems that various families are facing.

One of the beneficiaries, Fannie Kamanga, was all smiles and hopes the donations will assist in meeting the challenges her family had been facing.

“I’m more than happy. Back then, I used to be purchasing flour twice a day. But now you can imagine 70 kgs of maize will save my family for entire February! I’m speechless!” she said. Some of the donated materials were maize, usipa, and soya beans.

By Wellington Tengula

Despite a plea by Chibanja residents to Mzuzu City Council to move timber processors away from the residential area, individuals and companies are still operating within the area. The timber processors through Mzuzu Entrepreneurs Saw Millers Association is pointing fingers at Mzuzu City Council for failing to reallocate them.

According to the association’s secretary, Nicholas Kondowe, ever-since the City Council promised to reallocate them; the council has not come forward to tell them whether the land has been acquired for them or not.

“We had a meeting with officials from the council telling us that we should leave the place. We agreed and they assured us that new land will be made available for us. They also said we should just give them enough time to bring the services to the new land.” Said Kondowe.

Kondowe however said that, since the discussions were made the council has been quite.

“Its 2 years now since they promised us and last year they came to chase us from the place but we decided to go to court to get an injunction.” Kondowe added.

In response to the claim, Public Relations Officer for Mzuzu City Council Karen Msiska concurred with the business operator saying processes are in the pipeline to reallocate them.

“We cannot just chase them without finding them a proper place for their business. We have identified some places where we intend to allocate those that are currently processing timber in Chibanja location. We have a place at Sonda and Luwinga. But we have a problem with Sonda where some plots which we have already demarcated have been encroached by residents living around the area, but as council we are working on the situation,” said Msiska.

Msiska further assured the business operators that the challenge will be resolved soon.

Residents in Chibanja have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the City Council is handling the matter.