By Nenenji Mlangeni
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil society organisations (CSOs), under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on Monday shifted the day when they will hold the nationwide demonstrations against government to September 21 after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has vowed to counter the September 7 protests.
This comes as DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha said the CSOs demonstrations will be blocked on September 7 because the DPP youth cadets have organised a Blue Day in Blantyre City on Friday September 7 2018.
In a press statement released and made available to the Maravi Post, HRDC national chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the major reason for demonstration dates back to the April 27 10-points petition which he said has been “arrogantly ignored” by the DPP administration.
“This has been done in the interest of peace, unity and cooperation. Unlike the DPP, we do not believe in violence. We know that what they did in Blantyre by conniving with the Blantyre Civic office to grant them permission to conduct what they are calling the Blue Day, was a deliberate measure to bring violence. We will not allow them to propagate their strange and violent culture in Malawi.
“The petition was clear that after 90 days we shall make an assessment to evaluate government’s implementation of the citizens’ petition and that if we are not satisfied, we shall come back to the streets and demand accountability. As CSOs, we did the assessment and from the assessment it is clear that government has not just ignored the April 27 citizens’ petition but it has also engaged a bigger gear on accelerating impunity in this country,” reads the statement in in part.
Mtambo added: “God is with us and we shall never fear. We worship a powerful and awesome God. We will stand for this country without fear or favour. We want a better Malawi for all.”
“To mention but a few, blackouts are worsening, MBC is worsening, as already stated, corruption is on the increase. The theft of 3.5million litres of fuel at Escom worth K1.9 billion, failure to suspend those implicated in the K145 million corrupt case, abuse of statutory cooperation through routing of funds to finance ruling parties evidenced by the [DPP’s] blue night dinner”.
Recently, quasi-religious group Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) endorsed anti-government protests organised by civil society organisations (CSOs) set for September 7 2018 but now shifted to 21 September.
PAC said after its board meeting held in Blantyre, it was agreed that PAC supports the view to hold “peaceful demonstrations” when all local remedies to influence change have been exhausted.
The governance watchdog said should the nationwide demonstrations proceed as planned , Malawians should “exercise their rights [to demonstrate] peacefully.”
“We would like to express our appreciation for the support rendered by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the 2 prominent and big institutions have shown that they believe in a better Malawi. We expect to receive more endorsements from political parties,” said Mtambo.