News In Northern Region (387)
The Center For Social Concern says failure by citizens to demand transparency and accountability in the use of public finances is a major setback contributing to rising corruption in the country and a widening gap among the poor and the rich.
Authorities at the Ekwendeni Mission Hospital in Mzimba say lack of drugs for non-communicable diseases at the Central Medical stores has partially affected the delivery of proper health care in its catchment area and as a result, most patients are being sent back without receiving proper treatment.
At least one hundred and twenty-five students are on the verge of withdrawing while sixty-eight have been removed from Mzuzu University this school academic alone due to financial woes like school fees.
NICO Group of Companies says it estimates that by December this year its subsidiary company NICO Life will have paid off in excess of K3 billion from K800million, last year to its life insurers.
Group Managing Director, Vizenge Kumwenda has attributed the increase to a number of deaths due to the covid 19 pandemic.
Kumwenda disclosed this when the company celebrated its 50 years Anniversary in Mzuzu.
``Although most people are hesitant to be under any insurance policy, the company will keep providing awareness on the need of a life insurance cover so that insurers relations have a backup plan in case death strikes,” says Kumwenda.
It is reported that as of August this year, NICO life has paid off K1.8 billion from death claims and that by December this year the company estimates that it will pay out K3 billion.
Said Kumwenda: ``The uptake of insurance, in general, is very low in the country. I think it’s below 3% of GDP which is very low. But I must also mention that perhaps it’s not just insurance but general financial services, the uptake is not where we would want to be’
Saint John of God Hospital services Director, Dr. Charles Masulani Mwale has applauded NICO group for reaching put to people in times of need citing the Covid-19 insurance companies in the country, especially in a time when most people have been affected by the coronavirus and could use help from insurance companies.
`‘The awareness that they are giving is quite good. For example, our institution has most of our property like vehicles insured with them. But apart from that, they are providing financial literacy inputs to our members of staff” says Mwale.
NICO Group of companies was founded in 1971 and this year marks 50 years of its existence where it has managed to grow and set subsidiary companies such as NICO GENERAL, Nico life, Nico Assets, NBS bank just to mention a few.
The Malawi Human Rights Commission has commenced investigations in a case of alleged police brutality where Leonard Mkumbwa of Chitipa is accusing the law enforcers in the district of assaulting him with a hot pressing iron in September this year.
Government has ordered the National Construction Industry Council of Malawi to temporarily lift a ban it imposed on China State Engineering Construction Cooperation Limited that stopped construction works of the Mzuzu University Library for not meeting some construction guidelines.
Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works, Nancy Chaola Mdoko says the relief has been considered following the stage at which the project is and the impending rainy season which can affect the progress.
``With the project at an early stage, foundation, can you temporarily lift the stop order to allow China State Engineering Construction Cooperation Limited to commence with their work on the foundations. We are near rain season which can affect the stage,” ordered Mdoko.
The Council halted construction works on basis that the Beijing - based company working on the project did not subcontract 30 percent of works to local contractors.
The order follows, a request by China State Engineering Construction Cooperation Limited Project Manager at Mzuzu University site, Wang Qiang who wrote Ministry of Transport and Public Works requesting it to temporarily lift the order as they are in discussion with local companies that were Sub Contracted for the project.
Requested Qiang: ``We would like to have sixty days for construction, while we are finalizing agreements with other Sub Contractors.
Council's Acting Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Gerald Khonje could neither confirm nor deny the developments but asked for a questionnaire which he is yet to respond to.
Government and its partners have invested about K7 billion for the construction of the Mzuzu University Library.
Despite government policy stating that people should access health services within a walkable distance, the situation is different to the people of Thawiro as they have to travel a distance of over 10kms in search of health services to Nyungwe health centre.