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    [It was a banner news day apparently...] Atupele Awarded K300 Million Contract The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe) June 20, 2004 Posted to the web June 21, 2004
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 21, 2004
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      [It was a banner news day apparently...]

      Atupele Awarded K300 Million Contract

      The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)

      June 20, 2004
      Posted to the web June 21, 2004

      Wezie Nyirongo
      Lilongwe

      The official residence, Sanjika Palace which is currently undergoing
      refurbishment is being refurbished by Atupele Muluzi, son of the former
      president, Bakili Muluzi to the tune of K300 million although he is not
      registered with the National Construction and Industrial Council of
      Malawi (NCIC), The Chronicle has established.

      How the tender was awarded to Atupele for such a huge amount of money
      from government coffers still remains a mystery and most contractors who
      have to subscribe to the Council to allow them to operate in this
      category in Lilongwe and Blantyre have protested over the development.


      Recent published reports indicated that the project had drawn K100
      million from government coffers to an undisclosed contractor, but on
      investigation, an impeccable source have confided to The Chronicle that
      the contract was illegally offered to Atupele, a lawyer by profession
      and a new Member of Parliament (MP) for Machinga North East
      constituency.

      Atupele Muluzi, whose construction company is not yet known started the
      project way back, before the May 20 elections and, according to the
      source will take not less than three months to complete.

      The refurbishment of the Palace has however created debate on why
      government is, at this moment in time spending such a large sum of money
      when the incumbent president has indicated that he will move to Lilongwe
      and not occupy the Blantyre palace. President Mutharika announced
      recently that he would not occupy Sanjika Palace as was the case with
      the former two presidents in a bid to cut down expenses and work closer
      to his government's offices in Lilongwe.

      Mutharika has since occupied the State Lodge in Lilongwe but
      occasionally uses Sanjika Palace for government functions when they
      occur in Blantyre.

      Records at the National Construction and Industry Council (NCIC) do not
      indicate a company registered under the name Atupele Muluzi, according
      an official from the council, a Mr. Limwamwe.

      'In our registry we do not have any company registered under Atupele
      Muluzi.

      It could be registered in a different name on his behalf or he maybe is
      not registered with us,' said Limwamwe.

      He said, for a construction company to register with NCIC, the
      contractors are required to fill registration forms indicating two
      referees, indicate their competent technical staff and attach
      certificates of qualification as a contractor and a registration
      certificate as a company.

      'We have forms which contractors fill to register with NCIC and the
      forms require the contractor to mention two referees, the technical
      staff and all the documentation attached of the qualification as well as
      a company registration certificate,' he added.

      Sanjika will now have a new image, donning a predominantly green colour
      from the previous yellow colours. There would also be a complete
      refurbishment of the furniture ranging from chairs, tables and beds,
      including new carpets throughout.

      Another source has told The Chronicle that the Palace is furnished with
      new furniture because the old ones have been transferred to an
      undisclosed location.

      Efforts to draw Atupele for comment on the issue proved futile as his
      phone was switched to his answering machine.

      Atupele Muluzi, first born son to former president Muluzi and his
      former wife, Anne Muluzi came into the limelight early last year when he
      was handpicked by Muluzi to stand as Member of Parliament for his home
      area in Kapoloma, Machinga North East constituency which was formerly
      represented by former Housing Minister Thengo Maloya.

      Reports indicate that Maloya bowed down to former president Bakili
      Muluzi's directive not to stand as a parliamentarian for the area to
      pave the way for his son Atupele who has since won the parliamentary
      seat. Maloya is now serving in a diplomatic missions in the Republic of
      China in Taiwan as the Malawian Ambassador, a move seen as reward for
      complying with his boss' directive. He is replacing Eunice Kazembe who
      has since returned to Malawi to take up the cabinet post of Minister of
      Trade and Private Sector Development.

      *****

      Youth Development Needs Collaborative Efforts - Govt.

      The Chronicle Newspaper (Lilongwe)

      June 20, 2004
      Posted to the web June 21, 2004

      Pilirani Phiri
      Lilongwe

      Government's plans and programmes on the youth in the country need
      continued collaboration with development partners and stakeholders to be
      implemented, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture has said.

      Speaking recently in Mponela at the official opening of a World Bank
      and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded orientation workshop for
      youth in renewable energy project designed to orient youth in the three
      major areas of the project such as renewable energy, irrigation,
      entrepreneurship, the Ministry's Principal Secretary Charles Gunsaru
      said government alone can not go flat out to implement youth programmes
      due to limited resources. "I would like to commend the World Bank and
      GEF for funding this workshop.

      This a positive development and should be promoted at all times. It is
      for this reason that I would like to appeal to the general public to
      work together with government towards this noble mission of developing
      young people," said Gunsaru.

      The Principal Secretary then commended Women Empowerment for Economic
      Development Organization (WEEDO) for organizing the function, saying the
      workshop would impart knowledge and skills to other youth and make young
      people catalysts for social change, economic development and
      technological innovation.

      Speaking at the same function, WEEDO executive director Tawina Jane
      Kopa said empowe-ring the youth is critically important to both the
      youth and the communities in which they live in.

      Kopa said once the youth are marginalized they lose their sense of
      desire to contribute and participate in development, and instead their
      energies can get diverted into destructive and disruptive activities.

      Youth Employment Summit (YES) assistant Country Coordinator Brian Sata,
      speaking in an interview after the function said the workshop would
      also, in one way or another help young people to know how they can
      spearhead irrigation and renewable energy as a source of employment.

      Malawi is a youthful country with 64 percent of its population being
      people below 30 years of age. But despite being in the majority, the
      youth face many challenges including the HIV/AIDS scourge, poverty,
      unemployment and exploitation.

      *****

      Malawi: Concerns Over Attempts to 'Weaken" Opposition

      UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

      June 18, 2004
      Posted to the web June 18, 2004

      Johannesburg

      Malawi's civil society has expressed concern over "efforts to weaken
      alternative, independent voices" in the country.

      The ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) announced a merger with the
      opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), one of its fiercest
      critics, on Friday.


      Collins Magalasi, national co-ordinator of a coalition of NGOs, the
      Malawi Economic Justice Network, said he was "quite disappointed and
      frustrated" with the decision by Brown Mpinganjira, the NDA leader, to
      merge.

      "Mpinganjira had fought independently against the UDF for the past five
      years. Now we have no system of checks and balances in politics any more
      - people don't have a political alternative," Magalasi noted. The NDA
      came fourth in the recent general elections.

      A former member of the UDF, Mpinganjira was sacked over alleged
      corruption and founded the NDA in 2001 to campaign against then
      president Bakili Muluzi's attempts to amend the constitution to allow
      him to stand for a third term.

      The NDA joins the Republican Party and the Movement for Genuine
      Democratic Change, who withdrew a legal petition challenging the results
      of the controversial 20 May poll and accepted berths in the new
      government, led by the UDF's Bingu wa Mutharika.

      News agencies quoted Muluzi, who announced the merger, as saying: "The
      idea to merge is meant to enhance unity and love among Malawians, and
      change the focus from politics to national development."

      The UDF's merger with the NDA will give it a simple working majority -
      around 100 seats in the 193-member parliament.

      *****

      Southern Africa: Morris Calls for Increased Effort in Aids Fight

      UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

      June 18, 2004
      Posted to the web June 18, 2004

      Johannesburg

      After visits to Mozambique and Malawi, James Morris, the UN Special
      Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, has highlighted the
      impact of HIV/AIDS on food security in the region.

      Mozambique's spiralling HIV/AIDS rate needed to be checked before it
      exacted an "irreversible toll" on the country, Morris said on Friday. He
      found it "disturbing that despite all our best efforts, HIV/AIDS
      prevalence rates continue to grow".


      The envoy, who arrived in Mozambique on Wednesday accompanied by
      mission members from eight UN agencies, is reviewing how the UN system
      and the international community can more effectively assist the most
      vulnerable people in battling the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, food
      insecurity, and the weakened capacity of human resources in the region.

      Official figures estimate that the average HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
      among adults in Mozambique is 13.6 percent, with some provincial rates
      rising to nearly 27 percent. Each day 500 new infections are recorded,
      of which 50 percent are people aged 25 or younger, mostly women.

      Morris visited Malawi earlier this week, where he called on authorities
      to focus attention over the year ahead on the needs of children and
      families, particularly orphans and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

      The confluence of chronic poverty, HIV/AIDS and regular disruptions to
      food security caused by erratic weather and policies has plagued Malawi
      for the last few years. The latest UN assessment indicates that up to
      1.3 million Malawians will need food aid in the coming year.

      Morris will also visit Swaziland and Namibia as part of his third
      mission to Southern Africa since 2002. However, a planned visit to
      Zimbabwe was cancelled this week.
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