30 August 2015
Breaking News

Is voluntary male medical circumcision de-campaigning Condom use?

Blantyre, August 29, 2015:  Seventeen-year-old  Homic Muluwani of Bangwe Township is excited that at last he has had the most taunted voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) which to him certifies him to having unprotected sex now that he presumes he will be safe.   He is one of the more than 2000 males circumcised in the recent VMMC campaign which according to the Blantyre district VMMC coordinator, Jean Mhango was a success. Much aas the figures indicate the campaign as being successful, it is the mindset of the VMMC clients which seem to defeat the intended purpose for VMMC which is 60 percent risk reduction of HIV infection in HIV negative males who undergo the procedure. Homic Muluwani and his friends tell the dangerous story as they wait for their turn to get circumcised at South Lunzu VMMC camp. “I have had a girl friend for the past two years and we have been having protected sex for fear of the HIV virus but this time I am going to enjoy unprotected sex since I am sure of my safety following the medical circumcision,” says Muluwani. The 60 percent HIV risk reduction that follows after VMMC is surely misconceived in most males who are flocking for the procedure for they take it as a guarantee to having unprotected sex. This leads to the query as to whether condom use is not being de-campaigned by VMMC promotion. The Ministry of Health spokes person, Adrian Chikumbe says much as the opinion may arise from such sentiments, a study has not been carried out to validate this. “Our implementing parteners in VMMC such as Banja La Mtsogolo (BLM), Population Services International (PSI) also have no records to validate the opinion,” says Chikumbe. According to PSI one of the Ministry of Health’s implementing partners in VMMC, Malawi is working to scale up 605 coverage of male circumcision among negative males ages 10-34.  PSI national communications coordinator for VMMC, Lionel Chipeta points out that Malawi is working to scale up to 60 percent coverage of male circumcision among HIV-negative males aged from 10 to 34. “VMMC is recognized as a high priority intervention in the Malawi National HIV and Aids Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and the National HIV Prevention Strategy 2015-2020,” explains Chipeta. Martha Kamela of Mbayani Township finds her husband is better off uncircumcised due to the same misconception of the 60 percent risk reduction for she thinks once he is circumcised he will be at liberty to have unprotected sex with other females. “Since my husband will know that he is safe from contracting the virus, chances are he will be cheating more as compared to now where he is afraid of contracting the virus,” says Kamela. Kamela states that most men want to go under the knife as a guarantee to go and have unprotected sex without fear. According to the VMMC South Lunzu site supervisor, Joseph Mdzinga, males aged between 10 and 19 patronized the services. Looking at the age group, one can easily conclude that those accessing VMMC are still in the youthful exploring age hence the danger in the misconception. The World Health Organisation HIV prevention package includes Abstinence Being faithful and Condomise (ABC), Post Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) as well as VMMC and if the later seems to be defeating the condom use as per the perception, one wonders whether VMMC will yield the intended results, come 2020.


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Man gets 12 years for defiling step daughter

Zomba, August 29, 2015: The First Grade Magistrate Court in Zomba has sentenced 37 year old Sunge William to 12 years Imprisonment With Hard Labour (IHL) for the offence of defiling his step daughter contrary to section 138 of the penal code.
When presenting facts, Assistant Superintendent, Josophine Chigawa a prosecutor at Zomba Police station told the court that Mr. William was staying with her step daughter at Kazembe village. Chigawa said on June 6 this year, the mother to the victim had left home to Jali to harvest pigeon peas and left the victim with her husband. During the night of July 10, the convict went into his stepdaughter’s bedroom where he undressed and defiled the young girl. After the mother came back the following day, she noticed blood stains on her daughter’s clothes and the victim told her that she had mouth breeding, but her aunt Agatha revealed that she was defiled. When passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate, Roseline Liyawo said William should be punished because it is a srious offence and the convict was supposed to protect the child. Sunge William hails from Chinkhu Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kachere in Dedza district.


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Kalondolondo strives to make public service providers accountable

Tourist Attraction: A fish eagle on Lake Malawi in Mangochi - File Photo Mangochi, August 28, 2015: Kalondolondo Programme a consortium of Plan Malawi, CONGOMA and Action Aid with financial support from the UKAid has emphasised that it will continue to bring public service utilities to account for their actions in order to sustain quality of services.  Kalondolondo project officer, Cecilia Phiri gave the assurance in Mangochi during an interface meeting on the assessment of the Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) at Pankambiri Lodge. Community Initiative for Self Reliance (CISER), a local non - governmental organisation conducted the assessment. Phiri said the programme attempts to bring duty bearers closer to the communities using a tool called 'scorecard' so that people can get good quality services especially from public service providers like ESCOM and water boards among others. She said key areas under evaluation at ESCOM included interventions and strategies over the past years which range from energy efficient lighting, upgrading of Kapichira Phase 2 project and power importation from Mozambique. “The assessment is a follow up to the customer service charter in introduced in October 2014. At least 9,000 clients were interviewed with seven trading centres with power connection under Malawi Rural Electrification Programme also being targeted,” Phiri pointed out. Phiri noted that the need for reliable power supply in Mangochi could not be overemphasised on the basis that the district has tourism potential, booming factories like Chibuku and Njereza cement besides small entrepreneurs solely depending on electricity for their livelihoods. Commenting on the actual assessment, Phiri said it was discovered that the district experiences frequent and prolonged blackouts and that most respondents preferred prepaid metres which were seen to be cheaper. “Njereza Cement Products Limited reported that it lost 1080 tonnes of cement due to the blackouts while most ESCOM customers generally expressed satisfaction with the prepaid system which was said to be better and manageable,” Phiri added. Phiri, however, commended ESCOM for being prompt in connecting new customers to their grid on time following the 'first come first served,' principle. She, therefore, encouraged councillors to take keen interest in oversight over the activities of ESCOM in the district considering that the sector was a key driver of national economy. In his reaction, Mangochi ESCOM officer in - charge, Reuter Makina said ESCOM would take the assessment as a food for thought which would help it to improve on its service delivery through the customer charter which is usually affected by delay in supply of materials. “We've taken all the recommendations on board. Actually, ESCOM is equally concerned with the frequent power outages something that is beyond not of own its making,” Makina said adding that people were supposed to make full use of the customer service responsible for all complaints. In his remarks, Director of Planning and Development for Mangochi District Council Walter Chikuni hailed Kalondolondo for the participatory monitoring of development activities in the district, saying it was complementing government in ensuring people get value for their money. “On behalf of the council, I would like to commend the assessment since the ultimate goal of the whole exercise is to improve on service delivery for the betterment of people that we serve in the district,” Chikuni said. Kalondolondo has since its introduction in 2008 been tracking service provision in the areas of water and sanitation, health, agriculture and education apart from analysing local council development financing arrangements of the Constituency Development Fund and the Local Development Fund. Some of the key achievements registered include the introduction of block buying system and reduction of corruption in farm input subsidy programme one hand and community day secondary schools benefitting from boarding facilities and improving teacher to pupil ratio on the other.


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Henwood Foundation improving ECD services in Lilongwe

Children need well structured ECD programmes Lilongwe, August 28, 2015: Access to Early Child Development (ECD) services at Mbwatalika in Traditional Authority Malili's area in Lilongwe district has now improved, thanks to the Henwood Foundation, an international faith-based organization which is providing the services to the area.  Established in 2013, the Mbwatalika ECD centre offers pre-school education and psychosocial support to under-five children in addition to providing nutritional meals, uniforms and teaching and learning materials. The organisation's Programme Coordinator, John Gwaladi told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Thursday that the centre is aimed at increasing access to quality education services for children including those who are orphaned and vulnerable as one way of preparing them for primary education. According to Gwaladi, the centre has managed to enroll 138 children, 85 of whom have graduated to primary school and also trained caregivers in pre-school education and psychosocial counseling. The organisation has meanwhile partnered with the United Nations Women Guild of Vienna to construct a state-of-the-art ECD centre at M'bwatalika. Henwood Foundation is a development wing of the New Apostolic Church working in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe with the aim of contributing to poverty reduction and improvement of livelihoods of communities in food security, health, disaster and relief mitigation and entrepreneurship


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Government re-introduces school inspectors

Fabiano: Made the announcement - File Photo Lilongwe, August 28, 2015: The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says it has re-introduced inspectors in the education system in accordance with the education Act of 2013, 20 years after they were abandoned.  Minister Dr. Emanuel Fabiano made the announcement Wednesday in Lilongwe at the launch of the national education standards and the ministry of education standard charter. Dr. Fabiano said re-introducing inspectors was a necessary move as the introduction of the national education standards would demand provision of effective mechanisms for monitoring, evaluating and enforcing their implementation. He said the core business of the inspectors will be to ensure that all stakeholders adhere to the education Act of 2013 and the set standards. “The inspectors will also evaluate performance of students, teachers, schools and management systems to determine the impact of stakeholders' actions in implementing the standards and promoting national education,” said the Minister. The ministry abandoned the use of school inspectors 20years ago and introduced Primary Education Advisers (PEAS) who only played an advisory role to teachers a move some education stakeholders blame for the country's dwindling education standards. On the launch of the charter, Dr Fabiano observed that for many years Malawi had straggled to articulate her expectations and standards to help students achieve their full potential through education. He said that it was pleasing to note that the national education standards provide a set of benchmarks of educational experiences and achievements of the students. “The standard will ensure that every student across the country is getting the best possible education no matter where the student lives,” he said. Themed 'Raising education standards in Malawi', the launch was attended by many education stakeholders who included Ministry of education officials, representatives of civil society, teachers union of Malawi and development partners among others.


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Is voluntary male medical circumcision de-campaigning Condom use?

Man gets 12 years for defiling step daughter

Kalondolondo strives to make public service providers accountable

Henwood Foundation improving ECD services in Lilongwe

Government re-introduces school inspectors

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Health News

Is voluntary male medical circumcision de-campaigning Condom use?

Is voluntary male medical circumcision de-campaigning Condom use?

Blantyre, August 29, 2015:  Seventeen-year-old  Homic Muluwani of Bangwe Township is excited that at last he has had the most taunted voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) which to him certifies him to having unprotected sex now that...

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Business News

Kalondolondo strives to make public service providers accountable

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Entertainment News

New LL arts group in early marriage fight

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Agriculture News

Government to promote green-belt initiative

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Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda invoke the anti-defection law.

 

Kandodo who is also Malawi’s Defence Minister is among former ruling Democratic Progressive

Party (DPP) MPs who ditched their party following death of President Bingu wa Mutharika and

announced their allegiance to President Joyce Banda and her now ruling People’s Party (PP).

 

Speaker Chimunthu Banda is yet to act on a petition by DPP to have seats of all its former MPs

who are now on government side declared vacant for allegedly crossing the floor.

 

However, Kandodo told a development rally at Lisasadzi in the district that he is confident of retaining his Kasungu Central seat in a by-election in the event that it is declared vacant.

 

“Even if elections are held today or next week, I’ll still go back to parliament. As an MP I’m still

enjoying support from the constituency and the general public,” he declared.

 

Quizzed if by declaring allegiance to PP-led government means he has effectively joined

the party Kandodo insisted that he is an independent member of parliament but supporting government.

 

 

 

He was on the other hand non-committal on possibilities of joining the party in future or running on its ticket in 2014 general elections only saying “politics is dynamic, you never know what will

 

happen tomorrow.” He said the nation will be advised when time comes.

 

 

 

“I am an independent MP but supporting government, that is my official status in parliament

 

now,” he clarified.

 

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  • Bishop Zuza funeral

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Henwood Foundation improving ECD services in Lilongwe

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Children need well structured ECD programmes Lilongwe, August 28, 2015: Access to Early Child Development (ECD) services at Mbwatalika in Traditional Authority Malili's area in Lilongwe district has now improved, thanks to the Henwood Fo...

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"An education that does not transform your life or the life of others is a wasted education."


- President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

General News

Man gets 12 years for defiling step daughter

Man gets 12 years for defiling step daughter

Zomba, August 29, 2015: The First Grade Magistrate Court in Zomba has sentenced 37 year old Sunge William to 12 years Imprisonment With Hard Labour ...

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