Fresh investigations into Malawi’s Kalibu Academy in Chileka, Blantyre that Malawi24 has seen have revealed that current Headmaster, Paisley Mavutula is a leading mastermind behind different abuses faced by employees and students at “Christian” run Kalibu Academy.
Kalibu, which currently has 800 students in secondary school – almost 600 of them boarders – professes on its website to have “the spirit of excellence that reaches the heavens,” but what our investigation at Malawi24 has uncovered is quite the opposite.
A recently released year-long inquiry into verbal, physical and homosexual misconduct done to employees and alumni of the boarding school identified Headmaster Paisley Mavutula and school founder Michael Thomas Howard as the main perpetrators.
Abuse at Kalibu dates back to days before ground was even broken on the first building at the school and continues into the current year, 2015.
It is also clear that the Malawian Government has not done enough to address the matter despite being aware. It is evident that the school failed on several occasions to fulfil its operational requirements to the authorities, as indicated in the report, which says, “Students live in a very restrictive and abusive environment.”
One American victim, Brian Culwell, who personally donated several hundred thousand US Dollars to the school, has launched an independent inquiry and investigation into these abuses among others. He has since published a website for victims at: www.michaelhoward.news.
Malawi24 has received credible first-hand accounts and corroborating evidence which clearly reveals that school director Michael Thomas Howard committed homosexual misconduct against numerous former students, missionaries and employees of the Academy.
“Regrettably, the school did not report misconduct by Howard or Mavutula to any government ministers on this continued gay act by the Director. It is clear that Michael [Howard] paid a lot of money to some officials who were aware of gay issues and victims and requested the allegations to die silently,” says one source close to the administration.
“Mr. Culwell himself met with His Excellency Necton Mhura, the Malawian Ambassador to the United States of American last month, and the Ambassador took the allegations very seriously and promised to look further into the matter.”
According to the report which this publication has seen, students at the school are brutally beaten with rods of hardwood, such as blackwood, even though such corporal punishment is illegal in Malawi. Many of them, when they leave the school, no longer believe in God because the version of God shown to them is “Awful,” and many alumni have joined support groups of former students online in order to support each other after “surviving” the nightmare of Kalibu.
Kalibu remains a popular place for Blantyre parents to “dump” their kids as it has such a high capacity for boarders at relatively low prices. These parents apparently turn a blind eye to the abuse in exchange for allowing Kalibu and the staff to “beat their kids into shape.”
One eyewitness reports that Deputy Headmaster Norma Konono walks the campus carrying her own personal rod of hardwood, which she uses as she sees fit for corporal punishment on the spot.
Mr. Culwell, who knows and met with Mrs. Norma Konono on several occasions during the course of the investigation reports the following:
“Norma was someone I considered a friend and a good Christian woman. Nothing lead me to believe that when she found out what was happening at the school, she would continue to support Paisley and Michael. I met with her privately on several occasions and showed her all the evidence of the abuse. She confided to me personally of other homosexual abuse that she was personally aware of. She made a commitment to take these things seriously and to resign from the school, but was apparently threatened by Michael or Paisley, or else she continues to value the paycheck she receives over the abuse she has to ignore. Since publishing of the website to expose these awful abuses, Norma has ceased communicating with me.”
One of the victims, Gift Sozela, a former employee of Howard reports long-term homosexual abuse by the director. He admitted to misconduct and told the inquiry that he slept in the same room and bed with the 61 year-old Howard and was repeatedly molested.
Thereafter, he was warned he would “get fired if he resist.” The new report found that Michael Thomas Howard touched him sexually and engineered “nude encounters,” and was ordered to sexually massage him.
In his affidavit, Mr. Sozela reports: “Slowly he started to show his habits to me. We would go to town in every place he want to go and showing me all his friends and introduce me to all the workers in Kalibu. His Indian building dealers. I started to travel everywhere in Malawi with him. As time passes by he started to separate me from other boys. I started to hear all the plans and every dirty story they could have with Paisley Mavutula.
“[Michael] started to tell me that I should stay in his house when everyone is gone and told me to give him massage. He would in the process ask me all kind of questions. Like have you ever had sex? Do you see wet dreams? What do you think about this one and that one? Well some time he will tell stories that are of his past.
“So I was able to know about how some Finnish women are after him because he is not married. As time pass by he started to tell me to give him a hug for good night. So I was working from 5am to 10 pm every day no Sunday off, no weekend off, as long as he is around in Malawi. That was my time table. If I say that I want to go and see my family. He told me that I have to forget about my parents and move on just like Abraham.”
Sozela said the habit of Thomas Howard wanting to be close grew. He could never take it and was not happy if he didn’t say to Michael; “I love you Pastor.”
“He later asked me to kiss his cheek. Then he started to kiss my mouth aaaah! I felt so disgusting that day. I remember when I went to my room I brushed my mouth but still I could not forget that. … Then he was not stopping but he wanted every night I kiss him and he could hold me for so long. I remember sometime he will start playing with my nipples and go on and on and on.”
When Mr. Sozela, who is not gay and who is now happily married with children and is serving God, reported the issue to Headmaster Mavutula, he was told, “they all went through the same process and with time he will leave him alone.”
Mavutula, who refers to Michael Howard as “Dad,” was appointed Headmaster of the school, despite having no formal secondary education, college degree or any other qualifying credentials. This appointment coincides not-coincidentally with a former report on Michael Howard’s sexual abuse, released by the Weekend Times in September, 2010.
At that time, Michael Howard left Malawi for Finland, where he is currently living, and Mavutula suddenly became the headmaster with no qualifications for the job, other than the ability to take orders from Michael.
It is widely reported that Mavutula, who has been with Michael for two decades, was also a victim of Michael’s homosexual abuse and that this trauma is what has led him to be divorced multiple times and to marry his current wife, Linda, who was one of his former mistresses.
Our inquiry has turned up reports from multiple eyewitnesses who have seen Mavutula leaving hotels around the Blantyre area with women other than his wife, boxes of condoms have been discovered in his car, and several women have come to the gate of Kalibu Academy claiming to have children fathered by Mavutula and demanding to see him.
One such victim reports that Mavutula paid for her abortion, and yet another is living in a house with one of his children, paid for by Mavutula.
The inquiry has also uncovered allegations of homosexual touching by Michael Howard and an attempt to perform oral sex on employees which caused suffering from depression, and the inability to form healthy relationships for victims
To date, Kalibu Academy is operating.
No formal government inquiry has been announced. Mavutula continues to run the Academy under the direction of Howard who continues to come to Malawi and go back as he pleases, with no apparent legal consequences.
We wonder which government employees are on the “unofficial payroll” of Kalibu Academy, and how long they will continue to protect these men and their crimes against others.
Mr. Howard is a white African, born in Zimbabwe during a time when colonialism was still very alive. His continued physical and verbal abuse of black employees and students bears a strong resemblance to someone who believes the black Africans are still slaves to their white owners.
As we continue our investigation, we will report more of what we have uncovered, including financial misappropriation, tax avoidance, bribery, embezzlement and money-laundering by Kalibu Academy, Mavutula and Howard.
If you are a current or former victim of abuse at Kalibu, please contact us at the following email address
Edited by: Brian Culwell