Consumer rights activist John Kapito, the man behind the planned demonstrations in Malawi, has said his Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) will go ahead with the protests despite reports that Malawi Kwacha has appreciated against the major trading currencies like the US dollar.
Economists say the kwacha has now stabilized at K380 against the dollar from K420 and that there is positive economic outlook projecting that growth would be little stronger and inflation a little weaker.
Kapito said Wednesday the appreciation of Kwacha, which he described as temporary, has nothing to do the demonstrations, saying there are a lot of issues that the government has failed to address which were highlighted in the January 17 petition.
“An issue of devaluation of kwacha was just one of 8 points in the petition. Some of the issues which the government hasn’t addressed include reduction of cabinet ministers, declaration of assets and minimize the presidency’s internal and external travel,” says Kapito.
Kapito said the current appreciation of kwacha is not an issue, saying it has come about because of the ongoing tobacco selling season which he says is temporary.
CAMA boss had recently told the local daily that he had returned to Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre from Mzuzu where people were also planning to participate in the demonstrations.
“There will be several activities in the second week of May. We know this government is not a listening one, but we will demonstrate anyway to express ourselves. The Southern Region is also planning activities,” he said.
In the January 17 petition, Cama asked government to stop the floatation of the kwacha, reduce the size of the presidential convoy and minimize the presidency’s internal and external travel.
The organization also called on Malawi President Joyce Banda to declare her assets, reduce Cabinet and sell the Mercedes Benz vehicles used by ministers.
Kapito said consumers were ready to take to the streets and that his organisatoon would communicate the exact date when the time is ripe.
Malawi’s Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said the right to demonstrate is enshrined in the Constitution and government would respect that all times.
He however questioned the rationale in holding streets demos instead of dialogue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :