1859 Dr. David Livingstone,
Scottish missionary, arrived in Malawi. The town of Livingstonia was
later named in his honor.
(SFC, 8/18/99, p.A10)
1859 Maize replaced the native
crops in Malawi soon after the arrival of David Livingstone. It had
been introduced in Africa in the 16th century by Portuguese
colonizers as a reliable staple for slaving outposts.
(WSJ, 11/15/05, p.A12)
1890 An agreement between
colonial powers stipulated the border between Malawi and Tanzania as
lying along the Tanzanian shore of the waters of Lake Malawi.
1901 Feb 23, Britain and
Germany agreed on a boundary between German East Africa [later
Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi] and Nyasaland [later Malawi].
(HN, 2/23/98)(WUD, 1994, p.593,990)
1915 Jan 23, John Chilembwe
(1871-1915) staged an uprising in Malawi. He and 200 followers
attacked local plantations that they considered to be oppressing
African workers. They killed three white plantation staff, including
plantation owner William Jervis Livingstone, whom they beheaded in
front of his wife and small daughter.
1915 Feb 3, In Malawi John
Chilembwe, a preacher and anticolonialist rebel, was slain. His
picture was later put on every Malawi banknote.
1925 In San Francisco the
17-story Pacific Gas & Electric Co. building was built at 245
Market. It was designed by architects Bakewell and Brown.
(SSFC, 1/15/12, p.C10)
1958 Dr. Kamuzu Banda came home
to help campaign for independence and received a hero’s welcome. He
had graduated from Meharry Medical School in Nashville in 1937 and
worked as a doctor in Britain.
1959 Mar 3, The British
government arrested Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Nyasaland (later
Malawi), and ended an emergency crisis.
1963 The population of
Malawi was estimated at about 3.75 million.
(WSJ, 1/2/98, p.8)
1964 Jul 6, Malawi, a former
British protectorate and part of the Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland, gained independence.
(WUD, 1994, p.867)
1964 Vera and Orton Chirwa,
lawyers, helped Malawi gain independence. Political turmoil soon
forced them into exile. Dr. Kamuzu Banda established a dictatorship
and ruled for 30 years. Soon after independence Banda jailed 400
opponents who he said were planning armed rebellion.
(SFEC, 1/19/96, Parade p.5)(SFC,11/27/97, p.B8)
1965 The Liowande Ferry sank in
the Shire River and some 150 passengers were reportedly eaten by
(SFC, 6/17/00, p.C3)
1966 Kamuzu Banda declared
Malawi a one-party state.
1971 In Malawi Hastings Kamuzu
Banda (c1896-1997) named himself president for life. He served as
president from 1961 to 1994.
1971 The kwacha became the
currency of Malawi, replacing the Malawian pound. It is divided into
1980 Apr 1, The southern
African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was established
by 9 countries with the Lusaka declaration (Angola, Botswana,
Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe).
The main aim was coordinating development projects in order to
lessen economic dependence on apartheid South Africa. On
August 17, 1992, it was transformed into the Southern African
Development Community (SADC). By 2008 it included 15 members.
1981 Vera and Orton Chirwa were
abducted from Zambia by Malawi security officials, charged with
treason and imprisoned separately and incommunicado for 11 years.
Orton Chirwa died in prison in 1992.
(SFEC, 1/19/97, Par
1983 In Malawi 4 dissident
politicians were murdered. Dr. Attati Mpakati was found murdered in
central Harare, Zimbabwe while on a private visit. Dick Matenje, the
Secretary-General of MCP and two other senior politicians died in a
mysterious car accident, their deaths coming at a time when they
were being seen as possible successors to Banda. In 1995 former
dictator Banda and his “official hostess" Cecilia Kadzamira were
cleared of murder charges after an 8-month trial
1992 Oct 20, In Malawi Orton
Chirwa, a lawyer who helped establish the country’s independence,
died in prison. He was Malawi’s first Minister of Justice.
(SFEC, 1/19/96, Par
1992 Malawi passed a moratorium
on the death penalty.
1992 A major drought ravaged
the small farmers of Malawi.
(SFC, 12/9/05, p.A25)
1993 Dec, In Malawi a brawl
between members of the Malawi Young Pioneers, the personal
paramilitary force of dictator Kamuzu Banda, and members of the
Malawi Defense Force, left two army soldiers dead. Over the next two
weeks the defense force systematically destroyed the paramilitaries,
killing 25 but allowing the rest to return to civilian life.
(Econ., 1/23/21, p.14)
1993 Vera Chriwa was released
from prison and took up working in legal and human rights education.
(SFEC, 1/19/96, Parade p.5)
1994 May 24, Bakili Muluzi
(b.1943) assumed office as president of Malawi following the
country’s first multiparty elections. He succeeded Hastings Kamuzu
1997 Bakili Muluzi commuted all
death sentences and pledged that there would be no executions under
(SFC, 10/21/98, p.A10)
2002 Oct 21, In Malawi police
arrested Gwanda Chakuamba, the main opposition leader, accusing him
of impersonating President Bakili Muluzi by signing the president's
name to a controversial letter on statehouse stationery. The arrest
came amid a government crackdown on opponents of a constitutional
amendment that would allow Muluzi to run for a third term when his
second five-year term expires in 2004. Chakuamba was released the
(AP, 10/21/02)(AP, 10/22/02)
2003 Jan 17, Massive flooding
caused by Cyclone Delfina ravaged parts of Malawi and Mozambique,
washing away homes and crops, submerging roads and bridges, and
cutting off electricity in the impoverished nations.
2003 Feb 23, In Malawi a
lion, who escaped from Kasungu National Park and attacked and killed
about 7 people, was shot and killed by game hunters.
2003 Jun 28, Malawi's army was
deployed to quell violent riots after demonstrators attacked an
American children's charity and several churches to protest the
removal of five Muslim foreign nationals suspected of working for
2003 Aug 31, At least 675,000
people in Malawi urgently need food aid despite the country's good
harvest, the UN World Food Program reported.
2004 Jan 29, Widespread drought
was reported across southern Africa. Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa
and Zimbabwe were all affected.
(SFC, 1/29/04, p.A16)
2004 May 20, Voters in Malawi,
one of the world's poorest nations, flocked to the polls for their
third multiparty elections in a decade. Bingu wa Mutharika, Pres.
Muluzi’s handpicked successor, was declared the winner. The ruling
party lost its parliamentary majority.
(AP, 5/20/04)(SFC, 5/24/04, p.A3)
2004 May 24, In Malawi
opposition supporters rioted as Bingu wa Mutharika was sworn in as
(WSJ, 5/25/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 15, The Gates
Foundation announced a $44.7 million award at the AIDS Conference in
Bangkok to a consortium of TB and AIDS researchers. The 2 diseases
were often linked. A UN report cited 7 countries as the hardest hit
by the AIDS pandemic: Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi,
the Central African Republic and Mozambique.
(WSJ, 7/15/04, p.B1)(SFC, 7/16/04, p.A6)
2004 Malawi Pres. Bingu wa
Mutharika closed the country’s embassy in Libya soon after his
2005 Feb 1, Malawi Health
Minister Heatherwick Ntaba said AIDS kills about 10 people every
hour in Malawi and the government is increasingly unable to cope
with the crisis.
2005 Aug, The UN appealed for
$88 million to feed the people of Malawi. The World Bank said it
would give $30 million.
(Econ, 10/8/05, p.55)
2005 Oct 15, A worsening food
crisis threatening millions of people prompted Malawi's Pres. Bingu
wa Mutharika to declare the African nation a "disaster area" and
call for more international aid.
2005 Nov 24, The UN food agency
said the United States has thrown a lifeline to six southern African
countries, donating food aid valued at $45 million. The food will be
distributed across Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia
2005 Nov, In Malawi Marvin
Hanke, executive director of the radio soap opera “Zima Chitika" (So
it Happens), pushed the message that nsima, a bland corn porridge,
was not the nation’s only food. The program was produced by Story
Workshop, a Blantyre-based group with a grant by the EU’s food
(WSJ, 11/15/05, p.A1)
2005 Malawi Pres. Bingu wa
Mutharika (1934-2012) fixed the exchange rate. Administrative
measures were put in place to control the exchange rate with other
currencies. Mutharika steadfastly refused to make a major
devaluation, which he argued would hurt the poor.
2005 In Malawi Gospel Kazako
(37), the son of a security guard and a homemaker, started his ZBS
radio station. In 2009 the Malawi Electoral Commission, in
consultation with all political parties in Malawi, chose ZBS over
state-run MBC as the official broadcaster for the general elections
because it was trusted. In 2011 president accused the station of
fanning anti-government demonstrations that turned violent.
2006 Jul 27, Malawi's former
President Bakili Muluzi was arrested on corruption charges related
to millions of dollars in donor funds that allegedly ended up in his
personal account. He was released on bail after being questioned.
Muluzi faced 42 counts of theft, corruption and breach of trust.
2006 Jul 31, Malawi's top
prosecutor said theft and corruption charges against the former
president Bakili Muluzi have been dropped after Pres. Bingu wa
Mutharika suspended the chief investigator in the case.
2006 Aug 10, Malawi's President
Bingu wa Mutharika demanded the resignation of Ishmael Wadi, a top
prosecutor, for withdrawing corruption charges against the nation's
previous leader. Wadi dropped the charges after Mutharika suspended
the head of the anti-corruption bureau, Gustave Kaliwo. Wadi said
the suspension left the bureau with no powers to prosecute.
2006 Oct 4, In Malawi pop
singer Madonna traveled to a village 12 miles outside the capital
Lilongwe, where she is funding the construction of a center to feed
and educate about 1,000 orphans.
2006 Oct 12, Madonna and her
husband took custody of a motherless 1-year-old boy in Malawi after
a judge granted her an 18-month interim order to take David Banda
out of the country. The next day Madonna jetted out of Malawi,
leaving behind the 13-month-old boy she planned to adopt. The swift
granting of the interim order angered some rights groups which
called upon the Malawian government to put the order on hold in the
interests of the child's future. Banda left Malawi on a small
private jet Oct16.
(SFC, 10/13/06, p.E15)(AFP, 10/13/06)(Reuters,
2007 Feb 3, Maize reportedly
occupied 90% of the cultivated land in Malawi.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.80)
2007 Feb 26, Malawi's vice
president pleaded innocent to charges of treason and conspiring to
murder the president at the start of his trial.
2007 Mar 8, In Malawi Garnet
Halliday (50), a senior Australian mining executive in charge of the
development of a new uranium mine, died with his pilot when his
chartered light aircraft crashed.
2007 Jun 4, The Institute for
Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) said a study of mortality patterns
in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Senegal
indicated Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis was reaching deep into elected
2007 Jul 16, Health officials
in Malawi prepared to launch a massive HIV testing program to
identify tens of thousands of people unknowingly infected with the
2007 Aug 10, Malawi said it
will deploy 800 troops to Darfur in Sudan to serve in the future
United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force.
2007 Aug 20, A report showed
tiny fish farms have helped 1,200 poor families hit by AIDS in
Malawi to raise their incomes and improve their diets in a scheme
being expanded to other African nations.
2007 Oct 20,
Malawi's second opposition party suspended its national
convention after 26 supporters died in a road accident on the way to
the conference. The supporters of the Alliance for Democracy, or
AFORD, died the previous night when the truck they were traveling in
overturned in the central mountainous district of Dedza.
2007 Dec 12, It was reported
that William Kamkwamba (20) of Masitala, Malawi, had built 3
windmills using blue-gum trees and bicycle parts after seeing a
picture in an old text book.
(WSJ, 12/12/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 23, Media reported
that Malawi has asked Libya to close its mission in Lilongwe. The
Mutharika administration had suspicions that Libya funds Muluzi's
United Democratic Front, which is seeking to unseat Mutharika in
elections in 2009.
2007 Malawi deported Michael
Sata, the head of the Zambian opposition, after he flew there on
personal business and to meet former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi.
2008 Jan 4, Taiwan's ties with
its ally Malawi were shaky after the African country snubbed the
island's top diplomat in an aborted visit to the African nation
aimed at persuading it to resist diplomatic wooing by China.
2008 Jan 8, A government
spokeswoman said Taiwan cannot match China's reported $6 billion aid
offer to Malawi, but hopes a legacy of goodwill can convince the
African nation not to switch allegiance to its giant neighbor.
2008 Jan 14, Taiwan reported
that Malawi has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of
relations with China, which has been using its rising political and
economic clout to reduce the number of countries who recognize the
island. Chinese state media said Beijing and Malawi had established
diplomatic relations late last month.
2008 Jan 17, Rains battered
portions of flood-ravaged southern Africa, killing at least three
people in Malawi and forcing Zambia to declare a national disaster.
2008 May 13, In Malawi police
arrested former security and political leaders over allegations they
wanted to overthrow the government of Pres. Bingu Mutharika.
(WSJ, 5/14/08, p.A13)
2008 Jun 8, Malawi began its
fifth census since its 1964 independence from Britain, a decade
after the last head count was held in the AIDS-blighted and
2008 Sep 16, Malawi withdrew
its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR),
proclaimed by the Polisario Front in the disputed territory of
Western Sahara. SADR was declared in 1976 by the Polisario Front, a
rebel movement that wants independence for Western Sahara. The
guerilla war against Rabat's forces ended with a ceasefire in 1991.
2009 Apr 3, A Malawi judge
rejected Madonna's request to adopt a second child from Malawi even
though the country's child welfare minister had supported Madonna's
application to raise the 3-year-old girl.
2009 Apr 6, In Zambia western
nations and lending agencies meeting in Lusaka agreed a financing
package of more than $1 billion to improve infrastructure in
southern and central Africa at an investment conference meant to
expand transport links and trade. Britain said it would separately
provide 100 million pounds ($149.2 million) to transform the
region's infrastructure to increase trade and mitigate the effects
of the global financial crisis. New projects will link businesses in
8 African countries: Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
2009 May 19, Malawi held
elections. Voters chose between re-electing Malawi's President Bingu
wa Mutharika (75) or replacing him with challenger John Tembo (77)
backed by his predecessor. The race between Mutharika and Tembo was
too close to predict going into the polls. Mutharika, a former World
Bank official credited with bringing economic gains to the southern
African nation of 12 million, won the national election with about
66% of the vote.
(AP, 5/19/09)(AP, 5/22/09)
2009 Jun 8, In Malawi an
international organization began moving more than 60 elephants from
Phirilongwe village, south of Lake Malawi, to the Majete Wildlife
Reserve. Local farmers had used violence to protect their crops from
raids by the elephants, and at least 10 people and a number of
elephants have recently died in such confrontations.
2009 Nov 9, In Malawi two
opposition leaders were convicted of sedition and inciting violence
while campaigning. A judge sentenced each to 20 months in prison
with hard labor. These were the first sedition convictions since the
late dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda's 1963-1994 rule.
2009 Dec 20, In Malawi a 6.0
earthquake destroyed several buildings in the southeastern Karonga
district, killing at least three people and injuring about 200.
2009 Dec 27, In Malawi
officials arrested 2 men for celebrating their engagement to each
other in a ceremony on Dec 26. Stevem Monjeza (26) and Tiwonge
Chimbalanga (20) were charged with indecency and could get 5 to 14
years in jail if convicted.
(SFC, 12/30/09, p.A2)(SFC, 1/19/10, p.A2)
2010 Jan 31, In Ethiopia UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the AU's annual summit in
Addis Ababa and again failed to pledge peacekeepers for Somalia. Ban
Ki-Moon criticized power-grabs in Africa in a speech to the
continent's leaders as Libya's Moamer Kadhafi reluctantly handed
over the presidency of the African Union to Malawian President Bingu
wa Mutharika. The AU agreed to consider a Senegalese proposal to
resettle Haiti's earthquake homeless and possibly create a state for
them in Africa.
(Reuters, 1/31/10)(AFP, 1/31/10)(Reuters,
2010 Feb 3, New African Union
President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi said that food security,
transport infrastructure and energy will be his priorities.
2010 May 18, In Malawi a gay
couple, arrested after throwing a party to celebrate their
engagement in this conservative southern African country, were
convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency. On May 20 a judge
sentenced the couple to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard
labor under Malawi's anti-gay legislation. On May 29 President Bingu
wa Mutharika announced a pardon and ordered their release.
(AP, 5/18/10)(AP, 5/20/10)(AP, 5/29/10)
2010 Aug 15, In Mali 2
survivors of a failed journey said 12 African nationals trying to
illegally enter Europe died from thirst and hunger in the Algerian
2010 Oct 14, In Mali a 2-day
meeting of the G8 countries, looking at how to counter the threat
posed by Islamic militants in northwest Africa, concluded. An
al-Qaida-linked group was currently holding five French citizens and
two others hostage in the area. The meeting brought together
counterterrorism experts in the G8's Counter Terrorism Action Group
as well as participants from African countries in the region, the
United Nations and regional bodies.
2011 Feb 12, Malawi drew
criticism from donor countries over "certain negative trends" in the
poor southern African nation, including a new law that allows
publications to be banned.
2011 Feb, Malawi ordered civil
servants to open bank accounts so that they can receive electronic
paycheck deposits, as a means to crack down on fraud in the civil
2011 Apr 2, Malawi officials
closed two university campuses indefinitely because of violent
protests over what students and professors call threats to academic
2011 Apr, Malawi President
Mutharika signed for a $350 million grant with the US agency
Millennium Challenge Corporation. On July 26 Millennium Challenge
said it was "deeply concerned by recent events in Malawi and is
placing an immediate hold on all program operations in order to
review its partnership with Malawi."
(AFP, 7/27/11)(AP, 7/27/11)
2011 Jun, The IMF said its
program with Malawi was "off-track" as the government, amid
worsening ties with donors, had failed to review a $79.4-million
(55.7-million-euro) credit facility meant to cushion the chronic
foreign exchange shortages.
2011 Jul 14, Britain's
Department for International Development (DFID) announced it was
suspending budgetary aid to Malawi over poor governance, as
fast-deteriorating relations between the two countries reached a new
low. The Malawi opposition quickly blamed President Bingu wa
Mutharika's "sheer arrogance" for the decision.
2011 Jul 20, In Malawi
demonstrations in the commercial center of Blantyre, in the capital
and other major towns turned violent as protesters also looted
several shops belonging to ruling party officials and allies of
President Bingu wa Mutharika. At least one person was killed and
several others injured.
2011 Jul 21, Mzuzu, Malawi,
suffered half of the deaths from two days of protests and rioting
left at least 19 dead across the impoverished country. More than 275
people were arrested across the country during two days of rioting.
(AFP, 7/22/11)(AFP, 8/9/11)
2011 Jul 22, Malawi authorities
blocked a mass funeral for seven people killed during rioting in the
northern town of Mzuzu, as troops patrolled main cities to prevent
2011 Jul 26, In Malawi more
than 250 people appeared in courts to face charges over violent
anti-government demonstrations last week.
2011 Aug 9, Malawi’s central
bank devalued its currency by 10 percent as it sought to revive a
stalled program with the International Monetary Fund.
2011 Sep 6, In Malawi a
pro-democracy campaigner trumped the ruling party candidate in a
critical by-election that signaled increasing opposition to Pres.
Bingu wa Mutharika's 7-year rule.
2011 Sep 21, In Malawi shops,
banks and even some government offices closed across the country
beginning a three-day general strike called by the opposition.
2011 Sep 24, In Malawi Robert
Chasowa (25), a pro-democracy activist, allegedly jumped from a
five-story building and left a note saying he was killing himself
because politics are dangerous. Chasowa's family and fellow
activists said his injuries are not consistent with such a fall. His
death raised suspicions amid attacks on anti-government critics.
(AP, 9/26/11)(Econ, 10/8/11, p.62)
2011 Oct 13, Sudan's President
Omar al-Bashir arrived in Malawi for a regional trade summit, in
defiance of the international war crimes warrant against him.
2011 Oct 14, Malawi agreed to
allow back into the country new Zambian President Michael Sata, who
had been deported four years ago while still head of the Zambian
opposition. Malawi also agreed to allow back Britain's ambassador,
who was expelled in April after criticizing President Bingu wa
2011 Oct 15, Malawi hosted six
heads of state at a meeting of the 19-member Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
2011 Oct 25, Malawi’s
Anti-Corruption Bureau said Richard Kapinga (42), a government
accounts officer earning about $300 a month, has been arrested after
authorities found $2.4 million in his bank accounts.
2011 Nov 13, A Malawi high
court official said some 14 local sex workers arrested by police and
forced to undergo HIV tests two years ago have sued the government
for "unfair action and violating their privacy." The sex workers
were charged for trading in sex while having a sexually transmitted
disease. They were fined $7 (K1,200) and set free. About 14% of the
country's 13 million citizens are infected with HIV.
2011 Nov 22, A survey of some
6,000 people over the last 12 months in Democratic Republic of
Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe said
police are the most corrupt institution in the six countries.
2011 Dec 12, The world court
(ICC) said it was referring Malawi to the UN Security Council over
its refusal to arrest Sudan's Pres. Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the
court for genocide, during his October visit for a meeting of the
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
2011 The population of Malawi
was about 13 million with half living below the poverty line.
2012 Jan 9, Malawi's courts
ground to a halt as some 2,000 judicial workers began an indefinite
strike over work conditions and higher pay.
2012 Jan 18, Malawi said police
have arrested a gang that had been terrorizing trouser-wearing women
in the capital Lilongwe by stripping off their clothes.
2012 Jan 20, In Malawi hundreds
of outraged girls and women, among them prominent politicians,
protested the recent public stripping of women of their miniskirts
and pants. Many wore pants or miniskirts and T-shirts emblazoned
with such slogans as: "Real men don't harass women." Men also took
2012 Jan 23, In Malawi scores
of lawyers wore their court white wigs and black robes as they
marched around court buildings in the commercial capital, Blantyre,
to support court clerks who have been striking for higher pay for
two weeks. The strikers have said they won't return to work until
they get increases of 40% promised in 2006 and 50% promised in 2009.
Clerks earned an average of 16,200 kwacha ($100) a month.
2012 Feb 6, Malawi police fired
tear gas to disperse stone-throwing vendors resisting orders they
move off the streets to designated flea markets.
2012 Mar 14, Malawi riot police
patrolled the streets of Blantyre and Lilongwe as a leading rights
group defied a ban and opened a meeting on political and economic
reforms. The government has accused the Public Affairs Committee of
holding the meeting to call for the resignation of President Bingu
wa Mutharika, whom the group accuses of mismanaging the economy and
trampling on democratic freedoms.
2012 Mar 17, Malawi's leading
rights activist John Kapito, who was detained by police for
possession of foreign currency, was released on bail. Police
conducted a two-hour search at his home looking for guns and
T-shirts he had printed that had words promoting the overthrow of
2012 Mar 20, Malawi police
arrested an opposition lawmaker who is the son of ex-president
Bakili Muluzi, after his supporters torched a police station over
2012 Mar 31, The IMF again
pressured impoverished Malawi to devalue its currency, which is
trading on the black market at nearly double the official exchange
2012 Apr 5, Malawi's President
Bingu wa Mutharika (78) died after a heart attack. Under the
constitution, Vice President Joyce Banda (b.1950) is next in line.
But that succession is politically fraught because Mutharika kicked
her out of the ruling party in 2010 as he chose to groom his brother
as heir apparent instead of her.
2012 Apr 7, In Malawi Joyce
Banda was sworn as the new president, the nation's first female
leader. She called for reconciliation after the divisive Bingu wa
Mutharika died in office.
2012 Apr 10, Malawi's new
President Joyce Banda unveiled a shake-up of top officials charged
with government finances and media, purging loyalists of the late
leader Bingu wa Mutharika.
2012 Apr 26, Malawi's new
president Joyce Banda named a 23-member cabinet but gave herself
several key portfolios to beef up her powers as southern Africa's
first female president.
2012 May 7, Malawi floated its
currency, with the kwacha plunging a third against the US dollar, as
the impoverished nation bowed to a key demand of the International
Monetary Fund to fix its troubled economy. Official exchange rates
put one dollar at 250 kwacha, compared to 166 kwacha on May 4, a
33.598 percent value drop.
2012 May 12, The presidents of
Mozambique and Malawi signed an electricity agreement in Maputo in a
first step to restore troubled relations between the two southern
2012 May, Malawi's president
Joyce Banda announced that she wants to repeal laws against
homosexual acts, going against a trend in a continent in which gays
are being increasingly singled out for prosecution. Traditionalists
and religious leaders condemned her, saying she was trying to please
Western donor nations. They argued that homosexuality is alien to
Malawi's cultural and religious values.
2012 Jun 6, The International
Monetary Fund said Malawi is set for a $157-million (125-million
euro) 3-year IMF loan to fix its troubled economy which has been hit
by global aid suspensions.
2012 Jun 8, Malawi's finance
minister said civil servants will receive an average 21-percent pay
increase, as he presented the country's $1-billion (820-million
euro) budget. The state said it will also recruit 16,000
2012 Jun 18, In Malawi a boat
carrying about 60 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia capsized on Lake
Malawi. All aboard were feared drowned.
2012 Jul 6, Malawi's President
Joyce Banda released 377 prisoners to mark 48 years of independence
from Britain, but left child rapists to "die" behind bars.
2012 Jul 17, Britain’s visiting
minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, said Britain will give its
poor former colony Malawi additional aid of 24 million pounds for
its economic recovery program.
2012 Jul 20, The African
Development Bank gave impoverished Malawi $40 million in budget
help, just days after two of the country's biggest donors, the World
Bank and Britain unveiled new aid packages.
2012 Jul 31, Malawi vowed to
press on with oil and gas exploration on Lake Malawi, dismissing a
demand by Tanzania, which claims half of the lake, to halt
prospecting. Mozambique also owns part of the lake.
2012 Aug 1, Tanzania called for
an amicable resolution to a dispute with Malawi over oil and gas
exploration in Lake Malawi.
2012 Oct 3, Malawi Pres. Joyce
Banda announced that she will take a 30% pay cut to show that she
will sacrifice personally as part of her government's austerity
2012 Western countries showered
Malawi with $1.17 billion in aid. The foreign aid accounted for 28%
of the country’s gross national income.
(Econ, 6/11/16, p.61)
2013 Feb 19, In Malawi public
workers on strike demanding a 67 percent pay hike threatened to
close the country's airports. The government said it doesn't have
the money to meet the demands.
2013 Feb 21, The Malawi
government agreed to raise public workers' salaries by 60%, ending a
two-week old strike.
2013 Mar 11, At least 10 former
senior Malawian government officials, including Cabinet ministers,
were arrested for allegedly plotting a coup to prevent then-Vice
President Joyce Banda from assuming power following the death of the
former president in April last year.
2013 Mar 14, In Malawi 11 top
government officials and former Cabinet ministers, who were charged
with treason for an alleged coup plot, were released on bail.
Prosecutors believe the suspects conspired after the death of Pres.
Bingu wa Mutharika to undermine his deputy, Joyce Banda.
2013 Apr 1, Pop diva Modanna
arrived in Malawi to tour the 10 school wings she has helped to
2013 Sep 5, Malawi said it
plans to use the $15 million it gained from selling its presidential
jet to feed the more than 1 million people suffering chronic food
2013 Sep 13, In Malawi Paul
Mphwiyo, an official at the national treasury, suffered gunshot
wounds outside his home. Pres. Joyce Banda said he was attacked to
stop him from exposing high-level fraud.
(Econ, 12/7/13, p.50)
2013 Sep, In Malawi a
corruption scandal came open as sacks of cash were found in the cars
of civil servants and in their newly built homes.
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.44)
2013 Oct 15, Malawi President
Joyce Banda named Maxwell Mkwezalamba, a former African Union
economic commissioner, as finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle
triggered by a graft scandal that started with the shooting of the
national budget director.
2013 Nov 8, Malawi police said
they have arrested axed justice minister Ralph Kasambara over a
failed assassination attempt in September on a corruption-busting
2013 Dec 13, A Malawi Catholic
rights group accused President Joyce Banda of being "part and
parcel" of a massive fraud scandal that has rocked her government
2013 Dec 28, In Malawi a
lightning bolt struck a Seventh Day Adventist church, killing 8
worshippers and injuring several others in Lilongwe. It was not
immediately clear whether they were injured by the lightning or in
the panic to escape.
2014 Feb 25, Malawi President
Joyce Banda (63) faced calls to resign, after an audit revealed $32
million dollars of state funds had been stolen by corrupt officials
between April and September of 2013.
(AFP, 2/25/14)(Econ, 5/24/14, p.44)
2014 Feb 27, Malawians marched
on the streets of Blantyre in anger at their government after a
damning audit revealed that corrupt officials had stolen over $30
million from state coffers.
2014 May 20, Malawi held
presidential elections. Soldiers deployed the commercial capital of
Blantyre after voters, angered by delays and mishaps at polling
stations in a hotly contested presidential election, torched voting
materials and blocked roads. Incumbent President Joyce Banda,
southern Africa's first female head of state, faced 11 challengers.
On May 30 the electoral commission said Mutharika, the brother of
former president Bingu wa Mutharika, took 36.4% of the votes cast
against Banda's 20.2%.
(Reuters, 5/20/14)(AFP, 5/31/14)
2014 May 24, Malawi President
Joyce Banda said she is cancelling elections citing fraud and
"rampant irregularities." The decision triggered protests and was
challenged by the national electoral authority and a political
rival. Banda, who had been standing for re-election, ordered a new
vote within 90 days but said she would no longer be a candidate to
guarantee a credible outcome. Shortly before her announcement, the
electoral commission released preliminary results showing opposition
Democratic Progressive Party candidate Peter Mutharika leading with
42 percent of the vote, followed by Banda with 23 percent. The head
of the electoral authority said she did not have the power to do
this and that vote counting was continuing.
2014 May 30, Malawi police
clashed with protesters demanding a recount of the disputed
presidential elections. At least one protester was shot dead.
Democratic Progressive Party leader Peter Mutharika was declared the
winner of the disputed presidential election after defeating
President Joyce Banda, who came in third.
(AFP, 5/30/14)(Reuters, 5/30/14)(AFP, 5/30/14)
2014 Aug 26, A spokesman said
Malawian President Peter Mutharika has shot down a proposal to hike
cabinet ministers' pay to almost triple his own salary, amid
austerity measures following foreign aid flight.
2014 Oct 11, Germany, one of
the countries that suspended aid to Malawi after a massive 2013
public sector graft scandal, said it has granted the impoverished
southern African nation $25 million to conduct an audit into the
2014 Nov 19, In Malawi about
500 schoolchildren broke classroom windows and damaged cars to
protest a strike by their teachers in the commercial capital,
2014 Dec 24, Malawi President
Peter Mutharika pardoned 197 prisoners from the country's
overcrowded jails under an amnesty to mark Christmas.
2015 Jan 13, Malawi’s
government reported that 48 people have been killed and nearly
23,000 displaced due to flooding.
2015 Jan 15, Malawi deployed
military helicopters and boats in a bid to rescue desperate flood
victims stranded on patches of high ground after raging waters
killed at least 48 people and left 100,000 homeless.
2015 Jan 16, Malawi VP Saulos
Chilima said the death toll from flooding has risen to 176 and
others are still missing.
2015 Jan 23, A Malawi official
said the recent lethal floods killed at least 176 people and caused
extensive damage to tobacco crops, which account for 60% of the
2015 Mar 12, Malawi police said
they have arrested a man for trying to strangle to death a
16-year-old albino boy in February. A rights group reporting the
murder of six albinos in the last three months.
2015 Apr 5, Malawi’s police
chief ordered police this weekend to shoot "dangerous criminals" who
attack albinos in order to sell their body parts for witchcraft.
2015 Apr 15, Malawi’s President
Peter Mutharika signed into law a ban on child marriages, two months
after lawmakers passed a bill raising the marrying age to 18.
2015 May 20, Malawi police said
they have arrested four people suspected of murdering an albino man
five months ago to sell his bones for witchcraft.
2015 Jul 27, A Malawian
official said hundreds of Mozambicans have fled into the neighboring
country following fighting between the government and opposition
2015 Sep 15, A Malawian teacher
was arrested on suspicion of attempting to sell an albino schoolgirl
2015 Dec 22, Malawi’s justice
minister said the government it will not arrest or prosecute gay
citizens while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws.
2015 Dec 25, Malawi media said
that the government has suspended 63 civil servants who allegedly
stole millions of dollars of US funds sent for fighting HIV and
2016 Jan 14, Mozambican
refugees were reported flooding into Malawi by the hundreds,
recounting how government forces are torching their homes and barns
in the hunt for supporters of Renamo opposition leader Afonso
Dhlakama, who aims to seize power in six provinces.
2016 Feb 29, Malawi said it
will import 50,000 tons of the staple maize from Tanzania to avert
hunger after a drought that affected 2.8 million people.
2016 Mar 1, A mob in southern
Malawi burned 7 men to death for allegedly possessing human bones
for use in witchcraft in Nsanje.
2016 Apr 12, Malawi's President
Peter Mutharika declared a national disaster after a severe drought
ravaged the southern African nation and appealed for 1.2 million
tons of maize to plug a looming deficit of the staple.
(Reuters, 4/14/16)(Econ, 4/16/16, p.40)
2016 May 16, The International
Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
pledged $110 million to a new initiative to help drought-stricken
southern African countries including Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
2016 Jun 1, A Malawi court
banned witchdoctors from operating in the impoverished southern
African country following a spate of albino killings linked to
2016 Jun 7, Amnesty
International said albinos in Malawi are being targeted in an
"unprecedented wave of brutal attacks", blaming police for failing
to tackle a scourge fuelled by ritual practices.
2016 Jul 12, Malawi began a
massive project to move 500 elephants, by truck and crane, to a
sanctuary for the threatened species.
2016 Jul 26, Malawi police
arrested Eric Aniva who said he was hired by families to have
sex with more than 100 young women, including children, in what was
described as ritual cleansing. Aniva told media he was HIV-positive.
2016 Jul 28, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) said some 23 million farmers in
drought-hit Southern Africa need urgent help to prepare for the next
planting season with only a few weeks left before it begins. It said
Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have
reported more than 640,000 drought-related livestock deaths. Farmers
and cattle herders in 10 countries have requested assistance:
Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
2016 Nov 22, In Malawi Eric
Aniva (45), an HIV-positive man who said he had sex with at least
100 girls and women in traditional cleansing rituals, was sentenced
to two years in jail for "harmful practices." Malawi is one of the
worst HIV-affected countries in the world, with 27,000 deaths from
AIDS-related illnesses and nine percent of the adult population
infected with the virus.
2016 Dec 15, Malawi launched
Africa's first drone-testing corridor as developing countries
explore how drones could be used during humanitarian crises such as
floods, or to deliver blood for HIV tests.
2017 Jan 14, Malawi’s
agriculture minister said armyworms have destroyed 2,000 hectares of
crops in Malawi, spreading to nine of its 28 districts in the last
2017 Feb 7, US superstar
Madonna adopted twin girls in Malawi, raising to four the total
number of children she has adopted from the southern African nation.
2017 Apr 24, The World Health
Organization announced that Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin
piloting the world’s first injectable malaria vaccine next year with
hundreds of thousands of young children, who have been at highest
risk of death.
2017 Jul 6, In Malawi a crowd
stampeded at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe during
independence day celebrations, killing eight people and injuring
more than 40 others, most of them children.
2017 Jul 12, The Malaysian
state of Kelantan amended its Islamic laws to allow public canings,
sparking criticism that the change was unconstitutional and could
infringe on the rights of religious minorities. Kelantan, where
nightclubs and cinemas are banned, is governed by a conservative
Islamist party, PAS.
2017 Aug 3, Malawi celebrated
the successful conclusion of a two-year project moving 520 sedated
elephants by truck to a reserve where the animals had been nearly
wiped out by poaching.
2017 Oct 20, Malawi police said
deadly mob attacks that began last month on people suspected to be
vampires have killed nine people and led to 140 arrests.
(SFC, 10/21/17, p.A2)
2018 Jan 19, In Malawi a dry
spell and worsening pest infestation are threatening Malawi's staple
maize crop, prompted President Peter Mutharika to call on government
officials to lead prayers for rain.
2018 Apr 28, Former Malawi
president Joyce Banda returned home to a rousing welcome by
supporters and vowed to prove her innocence after more than three
years in self-imposed exile amid graft allegations.
2018 May 21, Malawi's
Agriculture Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha said the local maize output
declined by 19.4 percent in the 2017/18 farming year to 2.8 million
tons due to damage caused by drought and crop-eating armyworms.
2018 Jun 5, Malawi's vice
president Saulos Chilima publicly attacked the corruption of the
president's government and announced his resignation from the ruling
party, leaving the door open for a presidential run.
2018 Jul 2, Malawi's President
Peter Mutharika faced a growing corruption scandal ahead of next
year's election after a leaked report from the country's anti-graft
body accused him of fraud.
2018 Sep 21, In Malawi several
hundred anti-graft activists took to the streets to protest against
alleged corruption in the government of President Peter Mutharika.
2018 Oct 4, US First Lady
Melania Trump brought soccer balls and books to a school in Malawi
to highlight a USAID scheme to support African schools, on the
second stop of her four-nation tour of the continent. President
Donald Trump has sought to roll back the US foreign aid budget.
2019 Jan 1, In Malawi Yasin
Phiri, an albino, was killed in front of his young son. Local media
said the man's arms were hacked off, his teeth pulled and his
private parts removed, prompting calls by local and international
civil society groups for government action. On March 1 Malawi said
it will offer cash rewards of up $7,000 for information about
abductions and killing of people with albinism as anger over
government inaction grew ahead of national elections.
2019 Mar 8, Malawi's ministry
of homeland security said heavy rains and flooding in the south have
killed at least 23 people, and a further 11 are missing.
2019 Mar 10, A Malawi official
the number of people killed in heavy rains and flooding in the south
has risen to 28, while the estimated number of people affected has
roughly doubled to 45,312 households.
2019 Mar 18, Mozambique's
President Filipe Nyusi said that more than 1,000 may have by killed
by Cyclone Idai. The official death count stood at 84. The Red Cross
said that 90 percent of Beira, a city of 500,000, had been damaged
or destroyed. The death toll in Malawi from heavy rains and flooding
stood at 56 as of last week.
(AP, 3/18/19)(Reuters, 3/18/19)
2019 Mar 27, UN officials said
at least 707 people had been reported killed by Cyclone Idai, the
flooding it caused and heavy rains before it hit. This included 468
in Mozambique, 259 in Zimbabwe and 60 in Malawi.
2019 Mar 30, United Nations
officials said at least 746 people have been reported killed in
Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe since Cyclone Idai landed on March
2019 Apr 7, UN and government
officials said at least 847 people have been killed by Cyclone Idai,
the flooding it caused and heavy rains after it hit Mozambique
(602), Zimbabwe (259) and Malawi (60).
2019 Apr 23, The World Health
Organization said Malawi has become the first country to begin
immunizing children against malaria, using the only licensed vaccine
to protect against the mosquito-spread disease. The vaccine, known
as Mosquirix, was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and was approved by
the European Medicines Agency in 2015.
2019 May 3, Malawi's high court
sentenced to death a man who murdered a young albino, an
unprecedented penalty in a country which has seen a surge in attacks
and killings of people with albinism.
2019 May 3, The World Bank said
will extend more than half-a-billion dollars in grants for
cyclone-ravaged southern African countries as he concluded a visit
to Mozambique. A total of up to $545 million will be disbursed to
Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, the three countries hit by Cyclone
Idai in March.
2019 May 21, Malawians voted in
presidential and parliamentary elections seen as a tough test for
President Peter Mutharika (78) who is running against the deputy
president and a former pastor who heads the opposition.
2019 May 28, In Malawi Peter
Mutharika was sworn in as president for a second term after a
contentious election marred by allegations of fraud and
2019 May 31, Malawi's
opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera rejected the result of last
week's presidential election, saying he had launched a court battle
to have the vote annulled on the grounds of fraud.
2019 Jun 20, Malawi police
fired tear gas at some protesters as thousands demonstrated in major
cities over last month's disputed elections.
(SFC, 6/21/19, p.A2)
2019 Jun 21, Malawi's President
Peter Mutharika promised that the economy will grow 5% in 2019, in a
state of the nation address boycotted by the opposition who again
clashed with police in more protests against a recent vote.
2019 Sep, The Malawi Police
Service began distributing personal security alarms. Authorities
said the sound the alarm produces when a pin is pulled alerts people
in nearby neighborhoods to assist whenever a person with albinism is
2019 Oct 31, It was reported
that the recent transfer of hundreds of elephants to Malawi's
largest wildlife reserve has led to residents falling ill from
sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease spread by testse flies, a
companion of the elephants.
(SFC, 8/31/19, p.A2)
2020 Feb 3, Malawi's
Constitutional court nullified the results of last year's
presidential election citing widespread irregularities. The court
said a new vote will be held within 150 days. Supporters of
President Peter Mutharika had reportedly used Tipp-Ex to alter vote
(SFC, 2/4/20, p.A2)(Econ, 4/25/20, p.50)
2020 Feb 27, Malawi
became the latest country in southern African to relax laws against
growing and selling cannabis, making it legal for use in the
production of medicines and hemp fibres used in industry.
2020 Apr 2, Malawi reported its
first cases of the coronavirus.
2020 Apr 5, Malawi's President
Peter Mutharika announced that he and all government ministers are
taking a 10% wage cut for three months to raise money to tackle the
coronavirus outbreak. Malawi has reported four confirmed cases of
the coronavirus so far. All have all been linked to people
travelling from the UK.
2020 Apr 15, Malawi's
government announced a 21-day coronavirus lockdown, which was due to
start three days later but campaigners complained that the
government did this without providing help for those in need.
2020 Apr 17, Malawi's High
Court took the unprecedented step of blocking the government's plans
to impose a coronavirus lockdown until more had been done to help
those worst affected. It ordered the lockdown be delayed for seven
days, pending a judicial review. Following a judicial review, a High
Court judge extended the ban for a further five days.
2020 Apr 29, Malawi has
recorded 36 cases of coronavirus confirmed. Of those, three people
are recorded to have died. President Peter Mutharika announced an
emergency cash transfer program for the poorest people in what is
one of the world's poorest countries.
2020 May 28, In Malawi manhunts
have begun after more than 400 people, recently repatriated from
South Africa and elsewhere, fled a center at a stadium in Blantyre.
At least 46 escapees had tested positive for the virus. Authorities
worry they will spread COVID-19 in countries whose health systems
can be rapidly overwhelmed.
2020 Jun 23, Malawians voted in
a re-run election a year on from President Peter Mutharika's
disputed victory that was annulled nearly five months ago. On June
26 state broadcaster MBC said opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera is
leading with 59% of the vote.
(BBC, 6/23/20)(BBC, 6/26/20)
2020 Jun 27, In Malawi election
results for the historic June 23 rerun of the presidential election
put the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of Lazarus Chukwera and his
opposition alliance ahead with 59% of the votes cast, the first time
a court-overturned vote in Africa has led to the defeat of an
(AP, 6/27/20)(Econ., 7/4/20, p.38)
2020 Jun 28, Lazarus Chakwera
was sworn in as president of Malawi after winning an election rerun
with 58.57% of the vote.
2020 Nov 14, Well-known
Christian millionaire preacher Shepherd Bushiri skipped bail in
South Africa and fled to Malawi, his home country. Bushiri is
accused of money laundering and fraud along with his wife and two
2020 Nov 18, In Malawi fugitive
Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife surrendered to police after
South Africa issued a warrant of arrest against him for skipping
bail and fleeing home.
2020 Dec 19, The Economist
selected Malawi as "country of the year."
(Econ., 12/19/20, p.18)
2021 Feb 4, It was reported
that Malawi is facing a resurgence of COVID-19. The country has more
than 23,000 confirmed cases and 702 deaths.
(SFC, 2/4/21, p.A5)
2021 May 6, It was reported
that the government of Malawi has ordered thousands of refugees who
have integrated into society to move to the country's only
overcrowded Dzaleka refugee camp.
2021 May 19, It was reported
that health authorities in Malawi have incinerated 19,610 expired
doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, saying it will
reassure the public that any vaccines they do get are safe.