Billy Mayaya

Malawi’s renowned human rights activist Billy Mayaya on Monday fulfilled his plan of holding a protest against the customary land bill despite the police making statements of frustrating the demonstrations.  Mayaya argued that the law on demonstration demands that demonstrators should simply inform the Malawi police on their plan and not that the police should grant permission for demonstrators to enjoy their right. Mayaya, on the authority of the statute law, made it clear that he will continue with the demonstrations despite the police saying that they would not provide security during the demonstration.

The presence of the police at the demonstration raised a number of questions among the protestors as well as Malawians. Early this morning, the Lilongwe police through its Spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula told this reporter that the law enforcers will not be able to provide security to the demonstration.

Dandaula further said that the police advised the group to shift their demonstration.

Ironically, things were different in the morning as the police provided the security in large numbers.

When this reporter tried to find out from the police about their presence of police, Dandaula failed to respond.

The demonstration started at area 18 roundabout around 10 am to the office of the Lilongwe District Commissioner (DC) at Civic Offices with not less than 30 people who put in red T-shirts.

Speaking after presenting the petition, Mayaya said that he was happy because he has fulfilled his plan.

According to Mayaya, he believed that the office of the DC will present the petition to ministry of Land and the President in time.

In the petition, the group asked the President not to sign the bill arguing there are some diseases which needed to be cured first.

In his remarks, Lilongwe district Human Resource Officer Dighton Milazi who received the petition on behalf of the DC assured the group that his office will present the petition in time.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Malawi Congress Party President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has also asked the President not to sign the bill saying Malawians are not ready.


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