July In Brief

Speeches Shim

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Some of the convicted Chinese nationals photographed outside the Malawian court which sentenced them.
Photo Credit: The Daily Times


Southern Africa’s Most Prolific Wildlife Traffickers Sentenced:  Nine members of one of southern Africa’s most prolific wildlife trafficking syndicates were sentenced on July 20 to a total of 56.5 years’ prison time. The seven Chinese and two Malawian nationals were arrested in a series of coordinated raids in May last year. Each was found guilty of at least one wildlife trafficking offence relating to possession of pangolin, rhino horn, ivory or hippo tooth, all of which are derived from listed or protected species. Two individuals are the first non-African nationals to ever go to prison. All Chinese nationals are to be deported following their sentences. Sentencing of the ring-leader is anticipated in several months.

Outbreak of a Highly Contagious Fungal Disease:  On July 20, the Ministry of Agriculture (Department of Fisheries) issued a press statement on a suspected outbreak of Epizootic Ulceration Syndrome (EUS) in fish at Dambo Village of Mchinji District. The disease mostly affects freshwater fish and has devastating consequences on biodiversity and livelihoods of fishers. Infected fish can also cause deep ulcers and diarrhoea in children and other vulnerable groups. The Government of Malawi has suspended fishing as well as the transport and sale of live and dead fish around affected areas.

COGA Regulations Gazetted: On July 17, the Ministry of Trade issued a press statement on the gazetting of revised Control of Goods Act (COGA) regulations, which came into effect on July 10. COGA regulates importation and exportation of goods into and from Malawi. The new regulations bring predictability, certainty and transparency on export and import measures that the Government of Malawi could institute on a particular commodity. It also provides a list of prohibited or restricted goods.

Establishment of a Cabinet Committee on Public Private Partnership (PPP):  President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has appointed a seven-member cabinet committee on PPP to provide high level strategic and policy advice to the government on promotion of private sector-led growth. Beneath it, is a PPP multi-sectoral technical committee which provides technical support to the cabinet on all PPP applications before an approval is granted by the government. The committee comprises the following ministries; finance, transport, energy, trade, industry, and labour.

MERIT Goes High Tech:  MERIT is working with its sub-partner VIAMO (Via Mobile) to include education messages on the 3 2 1 platform. The 321 platform is a toll free call platform where people on airtel call and when they call in they are given the options to press 1 or 2 or 3 to hear a particular sector message. Currently Health and Agriculture sectors are on the platform. We want to target parental and community messaging on how parents can support their children's learning.

Mozambique Developing Power Plant on a Border River with Malawi:  Mozambique is developing a project on a channel of the Ruo River and wants to establish a 1.9Mw Mini Grid. Mozambique would like to tap water from the Ruo River, however Malawi has not yet agreed to this. Malawi believes both countries should develop one project to generate about 40-50 Mw and share the power.