Unless you were born in 2020, you must have heard about Beautify Malawi Trust, a charity organisation created by the former First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika, sorry, Professor Dr Gertrude Mutharika, and generously funded by people and firms of goodwill in Malawi and internationally.
Beautify Malawi Trust had physical and human assets whose value we cannot assert because no one dared assess them. But Beautify Malawi Trust had money. No one can dispute that.
Beautify Malawi had refuse collection and dump vehicles which were hired by, mostly, the Cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. Beautify Malawi Trust had prime land in Lilongwe, Blantyre and elsewhere.
For the record, Professor Gertrude Mutharika was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Malawi in 2016 for forming Beautify Malawi about one-and-a-half years after marrying President Peter Mutharika who ‘won’ the 2014 ‘Tippex’ elections.
In the citation justifying the award, the University of Malawi told the world that the then first lady was being rewarded for “mobilising Malawians to practise responsible, participatory, and improved management of waste and the environment to improve health and quality of the life of the people of Malawi.”
Deserving. Not so? Except for the parents dumping and throwing soiled baby nappies and diapers into rivers and dark corners, who else does not want a clean and beautiful environment? A clean but ‘vegetationally’ greened environment means clean and oxygenated air and clean potable water. Clean air means clean lungs unless you pollute the lungs with sniff-drugs and Indian hemp.
We don’t know why hemp is often referred to as Indian as if the many Malawians who grow, eat, or smoke it are all Indians. It is like still insisting that there exists in the World an entity called Roman Catholic Church when we know that, just like there are no Maravians, there are no more Romans in the World .
Once upon a time there was Mohammedanism, a reference to the religion centred on the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad. Mohammedanism no longer exists but we have Islam, one of the most influential world religions alongside Christianity, Buddhism, Existentialism, Atheism, and Autochthonism (chamakolo).
Some of us, non-political and non-partisan Malawianists, welcomed Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust, popularly known as Beam Trust, although we did not ask who the trustees were. We did not even check with the Registrar of Companies, Congoma, and the NGO Board to ascertain if indeed Beam was their registered member. And if Beam had a constitution at all.
A year later, a Chinese university, the Peking University School of Public Health, awarded Dr Gertrude Mutharika an honorary professorship in Global Public Health.
For five years, Blantyre City, Lilongwe, Mzuzu City, Zomba City, and others hired Beam refuse collection trucks and paid in millions of Kwacha.
For five years Beam Trust funded awareness campaigns on environmental cleanliness. For five years Beam Trust awarded scholarships to poor students, particularly girls. For five years, Beam Trust partnered international development agencies, such as Plan International, to build community schools.
Then came the June 2020 presidential elections. Mutharika lost. Chakwera won.
Then suddenly, like a city consumed by a volcanic eruption, BEAM Trust disappeared. The Trust’s website, http://beautifymalawitrust.org, disappeared. Its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BeautifyMalawi was no longer being updated. The telephone numbers for Beam Trust employees could no longer be contacted. Even Beam Trust refuse collection and dump disappeared from the streets and vaporized into thin air, reminiscent of Tractorgate.
We Malawianists are asking: Where is Beautify Malawi Trust? If the organisation wound up or dissolved, where were Beam Trust’s assets disposed to?
The practice in Malawi has been that before registration, any NGO, Charity or Trust applying for admission to the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations (Congoma), and the NGO Board had to submit a constitution in which the applicant organisation had to have a clause clearly stipulating how its assets would be handled in case of dissolution.
If Beam is dissolved, which organisation with a similar vision, similar intentions, activities, and objectives is using Beam’s assets?
Hello, Congoma and NGO Board, are you still online?
On renaming Monkey Bay, streets
We have received an avalanche of proposals relating to the renaming of our towns, districts, cities, and streets.
We are still scrunising the proposal. Thus, the promised gazetting of the same has been suspended sine die.