*Chakwera's 20 member cabinet may save o Lilongwe

*Chakwera's 20 member cabinet may save over MWK1 billion tax payers money*


President Lazarus Chakwera would save more than one billion kwacha (US$ 1.3million) tax payers Money spent on salaries and other benefits for eleven Ministers per month if he could adopt a 20 member cabinet set by his predecessor Peter Mutharika in 2014 _, the Citizen Eye estimates._

On Thursday, Chakwera postponed reshuffling his 31 member first cabinet which has been rated by most quarters as resource consuming and poorly performed.

And the public has been calling the president to cut his cabinet to 20 members to match the country's state of economy and ensure competitive performance.

According to our estimates each Minister is entitled to K3.5 million ($4,458) Monthly Salary, K800 000 ($1,019) housing allowance for those living in private houses, 2000 litres of fuel estimated at K1.8 million ($2,293), 250 000 airtime ($318), K50 000 ($63,6) MASM (medical scheme) membership monthly contribution, and K50 million ($63,694) loan of which half of it is refunded by tax payers.

They are also entitled to atleast 8 domestic trips per month with a minimum estimated allowance of K60 000 ($76,4) each and atleast one foreign trip costing an estimated K5 million ($6,369) .

This means government has spent an estimated K880, 440,000 ($1,121, 579) for salaries and benefits of eleven cabinet Ministers .

The figure excludes costs for foreign trips , salaries and benefits for their personal assistants, drivers, body guards and running costs for their perspective ministries.

Government could not yet confirm the costs but a former cabinet Minister who spoke on condition of annonymity claims that the current cabinet members costs might even be higher since the above estimated costs applied to the previous cabinet members.

Peter Mumba, a Mzuzu based youth activist says Chakwera would still have performed better without the eleven Ministers , and channel resources to procurement of medical supplies or roads rehabilitation.

"The president needs to understand that we are in economic crisis largely contributed by the Covid-19 pandemic and local citizens remain the most vulnerable.

"I think it will please voters if he could even appoint 15 Ministers and save 50 percent of the resources spent on the current 31 member cabinet ," Mumba said.

In 2014 the former president Peter Mutharika appointed a 20 member cabinet including himself and his Vice to save public resources and ensure performance competition.

Chakwera who was then Leader of Opposition in Parliament supported the idea and demanded Mutharika to make it constitutional to be a long-term goal.

"It is in this regard that the Malawi Congress Party's position is that even the reduction of cabinet size to 20 should be included in the Constitution," Chakwera was quoted by the media in Parliament as he was reacting to President's first State of the National Address in June, 2014.

Charles Kajoloweka, a development and governance activist says even the tonse alliance government recommends and promised a lean member cabinet to save public resources.

"I think President Peter Mutharika demonstrated and showed to the country that it's possible and doable to have a 20 member cabinet.

"And if you look at the MCP manifesto, they have committed to have a lean cabinet in a bid to reduce expenditure on government," he told _the Citizen Eye._

The development and governance expert believes it is not time for the president to begin partying and rewarding each other politically but serve the country.

"We don't need all that bloated cabinet when the President has the whole village of advisors, some of them we don't even understand there roles.

"We believe that the current administration can do with 20 or even less member cabinet, it's not about the quantity but quality of people you assemble, work ethics, efficiency, capacity and commitment to the work," Kajoloweka states.

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*Down but not out:Masasa land slide victims still trapped in the disaster zone- awaiting govt's rescue*


Hundreds of landslides victims trapped in Masasa disaster zone in Mzuzu are still waiting for the government's promise to be relocated to a new and safer palce, almost six years since Peter Mutharika, the then President declared the area a disaster zone.

Atleast seven people died, several others injured, and hundreds of houses collapsed as a result of the mudslide following persistent heavy rainfall that hit the city, and other places in the northern in 2016.

Saulos Chilima, the Vice President toured the affected area in April same year, and ordered the city council authorities to evacuate the victims to the new and safer place .

He also ordered that the utility service providers such as Escom and Waterboard should stop forthwith provision of services to the area.

But six years down the line, the victims are still trapped in the disaster zone.

A visit by _the Citizen Eye_ to Masasa observed that many houses are failing to stand the persistent hevy rains that continues falling in Mzuzu.

"We are still trapped in the disaster zone and are in danger," says the area's block leader Menius Banda .

"Most houses here are at risk of collapsing due to the excessive rainfall, and people are living in fear of loosing their lives," she told _the Citizen Eye._

Grace Banda , a poverty stricken widow of six children is one of the most at risk victims. Her house may collapse anytime but she still insists to remain in the area.

"I know that I'm on the death trap but I have no option," she says, "I can't manage to find money and buy a piece of land and building materials hence I'm hoping on the government promise," Banda.

Other victims we talked to collaborated with Banda that they are failing to get out of the area on their own due to financial problems.

But MacDonald Gondwe, the Spokesperson for Mzuzu City Council said the Council has not effected the presidential order due to a number of factors including lack of resources.

"The plan is still intact as per the directive but the relocation exercise demands resources to enable the Council compasate the affected households as well as securing a new space for them.

"This exercise awaits resources because the resources were supposed to come from Department of Disaster management Affairs(DODMA) since the council doesn't have really available resources to help necessitate the exercise," Gondwe said.

He adds that the plan will also work on compensation of the victims for the loss of their property.

"Most of these people were born and raised in Masasa , they have set up businesses, built houses, and the relocation may mean reshaping their lives to something they didn't expect."

Gondwe , however, bemoans lack of conviction by some victims to be relocated as they continue to erect structures within the area despite the directive to stop.

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Malawi targets World Cup qualifiers


Malawi’s qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has energized the flames flag carriers to target the World Cup qualifiers.

The flames reclaimed it's foot ball history after edging Uganda Cranes 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre last week.

The country's appearance at the final will be the third after making it in 1984 and 2010.

After achieving the impossible in making it to Cameroon 2022, the Flames will look to make history again in making it to a maidden World Cup in Qatar.

Drawn in a tough group that consist of West Africa’s power house nations of Cameroon and Ivory Coast as well as neighbouring Mozambique, it’s no doubt about it that the Flames face an uphill task to achieve the ultimate dream of appearing at a world cup.

But as shown in making it to the Africa’s show peace tournament, Malawi can no longer be discounted and dismissed as the whooping boys of the world cup qualifying group that contains professional players in big European leagues.

If the flames can haul six points in their last two qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda to seal their qualification to Cameroon who knows what they can achieve if given the resources and time.

Ironically, the man behind the Flames success is former TNM Stars coach Meck Mwase.

After trying several expatriates, Football Association of Malawi settled for Mwase, though still many doubted and are still doubting his capabilities.

But the coach has proved his mettle by succeeding where others failed.

As Rudoviko Nyrenda a Sports Pundit, observes empowering a local coach is the best way to go as proven in the qualification to afcon.

“We have a lot of talented players and the only way we can get the best out of the is through empowering our local coach and as a country I’m glad that we have one at the helm of our national team hence achieving the dream of a world cup is possible,” told _The Citizen Eye_

Echoing Nyirenda’s sentiments the flames coach Meke Mwase, said he always believed the country had enough talent and players to qualify for a major tournament.

“I always said it that we have plenty of talent in the country. What we only need to do is to have belief in our players.

“When we lost our two back to back qualifiers against Uganda and Burkina Faso, people ruled us out. But we had self-belief that we can make it and that remains for the world cup.”

Meanwhile the Malawi National team will be next in action in June when they will face two back to back world cup qualifiers, beginning with the donting trip to Yaoundé to face Cameroon before returning home to face neighbours Mozambique.

Malawi National Team

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Malawi's mob Justice cases' escalation exposes the public's law ignorance


Many Malawians are resorting to mob justice against suspects of theft, witchcraft and other crimes. The victims are mostly burnt to ashes or beaten up to death in cold blood .

Police and human rights advocates are worried about the escalation of such incidents, and are seriously warning the perpetrators against the vice.

_MEEKNESS and STEVE_ have been exploring what fuels the malpractice and report:

Dozens of villagers , some carrying used tyres and petrol jeracanes, in Chiswe within BCA residential area in the commercial city of Blantyre descended on a popular Bottlestore in the area to set ablaze a young man , alleged to have attempted breaking a bottle store.

Our reporters witnessed the merciless killing of the man whose particulars could not yet be established.

Police could not show up at the incident, and onlookers told our team that this was the third case to occur in space of a month.

Just some distance away from the incident, a suspected robber broke into a house of 24 year old lady identified as Salifya Lisa Chikoja and stabled her to death in Zingwangwa township. The alleged robber went away with the deceased's phone and left her in a pool of blood.

"We can't even sleep peacefully for fear of losing our lives to robbers like Lisa because they mostly attack houses at night. The police need to think of our security's from these predators first before stoping us to revenge when ever we catch them," said Janet Mbisa , a concerned resident.

The mob argued that they have been resorting to mob justice due to faluire by the formal justice system to stop such crimes .

"We feel our action is justified", says one of the perpetrators of the lynching of the deceased but refused to be named for fear of reprisals.

"If we had waited for the police to pick him up we would have started seeing him around two or three days later because these people bribe the police to be released on bail."

The eye witnesses further claimed that the mob has also been targeting the police whenever they come to rescue the suspects due to the perpetrators' "bribe" perception against the police .

But James Kadadzera, the National Police Spokesperson denies the bribery allegations. He instead calls on the media to help in sensitizing communities on the country's legal system to clear their corruption perception about the police.

"I'm sure as a journalist you asses what tells you and you can be helping us to clear such perceptions since you know how criminal offences go on legally," said Kadadzera.

For instance, the Police Spokesperson says once a suspect is handed over to the law enforcers , he or she is being taken to court for prosecution or trial .

"It's for the court to determine whether the suspect is guilty or not during trail, and that the prosses will determine if he has to be convicted or acquitted, and not the police hence we request the media to help in Civic educating the masses on such misconceptions," he said.

Kadadzera observed that mob justice interferes evidence or investigations by the police against the crime suspects.

"For instance, if the suspect is linked to ten more criminals and you kill him it means you have concealed evidence of the rest hence we ask you to always report the suspects to police for legal process."

Kadadzera further warns perpetrators of mob justice and arrested and face the law.

Jackson Msiska, a northen based social commentator , however, argues that mob justice cases are fuelled by The increase ignorance of the masses and government lack of seriousness to tackle the mob justice crime.

" In the first place, let us agree that most of the population in Malawi is ignorant about the laws of the land, in this respect people feel like it's not a crime to do mob justice.

"To end such practices,it non other than civic educating the masses so that they understand doing such is against the law, not only that but also there should be an active judicial system which in turn should ensure that the citizenry are satisfied with how it is handling such cases without any delay or favor, Msiska says.

Msiska calls for political will of the government to ensure that justice law breakers are protected by the law,also that justice is observed in the judiciary.

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Chipatala chaku Nkhata Bay na Reserve Bank mu Mzuzu sono vijalilenge mpoto yose ke-ke-ke-ke-ke!"

Mutharika wayowoya

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Olabode Olajumoke @78 Celebrating Extraordinary Years of Positive Impacts ,Sterling National Standing

Raji Bomodeoku

In today's climate, leadership is examined from one of the tenets mostly denoted by the values that are appreciated within a culture as an influence that is capable of producing some valuable results that are considered from that cultural standpoint.

Indeed ,many have done far better as individuals and as members of their local and national communities. When the attendance of those who have made remarkable memories in our Nation is called. One name that will feature prominently is Olabode Olajumoke . Olajumoke's impact can be traced to his strides in the political, economic and humanitarian landscape of Nigeria.

Olajumoke has gone on to show that creating insight and taking action are winning combination for anyone coming from a humble background . Only a few people have done more impacts to others like they would to themselves. Olajumoke is a deeply good man from searchlight and one of the evidences that Nigeria was blessed with great Leaders.

Growing up as a young Man in the Precincts of Imeri in Ondo State . Olajumoke's mission from outset was how to serve his fatherland, inspiring many other similar thinkers to stimulate a national synergy for his people’s emancipation at the National front.

One of the inspiring accounts of Olajumoke’s groundbreaking success in community development was the founding of Imeri Unity Group, a socio political group with the intention of increasing the presence of his Yoruba speaking Imeri minority people at the frontline of National Politics . He was concerned that his people of Yoruba extraction should move from regional political theatre to national as the centre influences so many critical decisions in Nigeria. The focus of IUG therefore was to galvanise the Yoruba speaking people of the six Southwest states and the two states of Kogi and Kwara to play central politics.

This strategy was successful as the movement attracted followers of Governor Lateef Jakande and his deputy Rafiu Jafojo, Chief J.S Olawoyin of Offa, Chief Yomi Akintola and Chief Oluwole Awolowo both from the prominent families of late S.L.A. Akintola’s family of Ogbomoso and late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s of Ikenne among other prominent Western flank leaders.

One of the most significant achievements of IUG was the unification of the two famous Yoruba families of Awolowo and Akintola. For almost 35 years - the rift that several Yoruba monarchs could not resolve at that time was settled. Indeed the only three instances that IUG monthly meetings were ever moved out of Imeri were when Chief Oluwole Awolowo hosted IUG meeting at Efunyela Hall, Ikenne and the following month in the Ogbomoso family home of late Chief SLA Akintola by his eldest son Chief Yomi Akintola. IUG also honoured late Chief J.S. Olawoyin by Senator Salawu of Offa hosting IUG in Offa after the Ogbomoso meeting.

Modern history will be kind with Olajumoke as his emergence to the elite group did not only open ways for a turnaround in public representation , he set some standard metrics for future seekers of public office, building a lasting legacy for his people of Ondo North and influencing a national landmark for people living with disabilities. Prior to being elected into the Nigerian Senate where he served as the Senate’s Committee Chairman on Navy. He is noted for sponsoring the disability bill which drew national consciousness to the need to make all public and private facilities accessible to people living with special needs as it is practiced in civilized world .

This remarkable bill had been tested and actualized some years earlier when Dr Bode Olajumoke was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. As the Pro-Chancellor, he converted the institution from a glorified secondary school into a modern University such that within two years of his being Chairman of Council, the school was adjudged the best state university in Nigeria by the Nigerian Universities Commission. Massive road networks sprawled the university landscapes, modern lecture theatres were constructed. He insisted that all the emerging structures - roads, buildings, lecture theatres were all disabled compliant. He did not limit this campaign to Adekunle Ajasin University. As a prominent member of the national conference of Pro-Chancellors, he persuaded his colleagues to adopt the policy of making their campuses disabled friendly. Some Pro-Chancellors visited his University to duplicate the concept. Such was his passion for the disabled and less privileged that at the earliest opportunity he had as a Senator, his major bill on disability in the one term he was privileged to serve was passed by the Senate into law. The Nigerian Navy honored him with a Navy Secondary School in his home town Imeri as a recognition for effective Senate Leadership.

He had served pre-eminently as a Federal Civil Servant and played notable roles in the return of democracy in 1999. His civil service years was condoned after twenty five years of meritorious service. Professionally , Olajumoke was inspired to read Law after covering the famous treasonable felony case of the FGN vs Dr Tunji Otegbeye as an intern-reporter with the Daily times of Nigeria in 1965. He got the Soviet Union Scholarship in 1965 to study law at the famous Friendship University , Moscow where he bagged LL.M in flying colours. He Later proceeded to the University of Edinburgh in the UK where he bagged a Doctorate Degree in the International Law Department of the Prestigious University. Olajumoke has been an advocate of true federalism tackling several extra-constitutional tendencies in teaching and through court prayers as a liberal exponent with complete believe in the principles of liberty, freedom of people and Nations.

Born on the 1st of July ,1944 , in Imeri ,Olajumoke’s growing up set the foundation for his exemplary journey and disciplined life as a member of the Boys Scout where he mastered the most important leadership lessons in developing young people to become self fulfilled as individuals and play constructive roles in the society using the scout method . He has throughout his scouting journey developed special interest in people living with special needs . At the 100th year celebration of the founding of Scouting in 2007 World Scout Jamboree at Essex, London. Olajumoke sponsored several Scouts from Schools of deaf and impaired hearing to the World events raising hope for the children to dream again . He has served on the Board of The Scout Association of Nigeria as its Deputy Board Chairman. He has strong passion for charity and his many years work has created some of the notable charity organizations that are restoring hopes for people with extreme conditions. Among these is the mission to save the helpless MITOSATH. - the first Chairman was late Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and was succeeded by Dr. Bode Olajumoke. Rtd General T.Y. Danjuma is the Grandpatron.

Dr Bode Olajumoke has been a member, Board of Trustees of PDP since year 2000. He is not a shifty politician and so has been very constant in his vision when he ran for the Nation’s Presidency under APP in 1999.

Long before Dr. Bode Olajumoke contested the Senate seat, he had sponsored many budding politicians for elective and executive offices. In year 2007, he eventually ran for the Senatorial seat of his Ondo North and won one of the largest votes nationwide.

He is a Member of the Board, University of Ibadan Advancement Centre since over a decade.

At 78 , Olajumoke’s example serving leadership is still rubbing positively in the heart of Nigeria and everywhere else that he has made footprints throughout his proud history .

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Statesman on the auspicious occasion of his 78th birthday.

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