Former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi dominated local media headlines over the past three weeks after returning from the United Kingdom, where he went for a medical check-up. But this time it is not his health but his desire to run again as president in 2009 elections that has attracted the media's attention.
The Malawi Council of Churches has threatened to enter the country's National Assembly draped in gowns to protest against opposition moves to impeach President Bingu wa Mutharika and to press politicians to focus on ''problems besetting the people''. It is estimated that up to 4,2-million Malawi citizens, of a population of 12-million, face serious food shortages.
President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi was thrown his first curve ball in Parliament last Wednesday since his dramatic defection from the United Democratic Front, on whose ticket he ascended to the country's top job in May last year. His appointment of the first woman inspector-general of police, Mary Nangwale, was rejected by Parliament.
Malawian President Bingu Mutharika's tenure is becoming increasingly tenuous after the largest opposition, the Malawi Congress Party, joined the ruling United Democratic Party (UDF) in demanding that he step down. Mutharika resigned from the UDF last Saturday after a bitter nine-month stand-off with his predecessor and current party chair Bakili Muluzi over his tough stance on corruption.
Former Malawian minister of sports and culture Philip Bwanali has been arrested on allegations that he swindled 11,5-million kwacha (about R640 000) meant for sports development in the country. Bwanali was arrested last Saturday. He is the fifth senior member of the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) to be arrested on corruption charges.
About 300 Malawian employees of the South African supermarket chain Shoprite Trading Limited have returned to work after their two-week strike failed to win any concessions from the company. The workers, who were striking in support of their demand for better wages, suspended the strike after the company advertised in the local press for workers to replace them.
Curbing excessive spending through strict controls and redirecting funds to social services and poverty alleviation schemes are the centrepiece of Malawi's efforts to woo donors into supporting its 2004/05 budget. Malawi's Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, unveiled an 85,6-billion kwacha budget in Lilongwe with a warning to government departments that they adhere to his new expenditure control measures.