Malawi civil-society groups have revealed details of a massive demonstration planned for January 13 by on the “deteriorating” state of governance in the country and alleged abuse of funds meant for use in the fight against HIV and AIDS by private organisations with strong links to the President Peter Mutharika.
Among other issuses the CSOs will be holding street protests pressing First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s Beatify Malawi (BEAM) trust to return funds it obtained from National Aids Commission (NAC) worthy MK5 million which was not related to HIV and AIDS.
A part from BEAM, the organizers of January 13 demonstrations wants Mulhakho wa Alhomwe, a cultural grouping which President Mutharika belongs to return money amounting to MK9.5 million it obtained from NAC.
The CSOs also want President Mutharika to act on some of the challenges rocking the country such as the increase in industrial strikes and others.
In a letter to the District Commissioner for Lilongwe which has been copied to the media, the Inspector General, Chief Secretary to Government and CEO Lilongwe City council, the 23 concerned groups have said the demonstrations will take place in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe Mzuzu cities and also Karonga district from nine in the morning.
“On behalf of the listed organizations, we write to notify your office about the planned demonstrations in line with section 96  of the Police Act  which requires the conveners of the demonstrations or protests to give notice of not less that forty-eight hours [48 hrs].
“These demonstrations are in protest of the unwarranted funding from NAC of HIV and AIDS funds to organizations that are not meant to receive such funding, and the general decay of the state of governance in Malawi,” reads the letter delivered to District Commissioner for Lilongwe .
The information is complete with the routes that demonstrators would take and where petitions would be presented.
The CSOs say in Lilongwe, demonstrations will start from the community centre ground via Mchesi past Kamuzu Central Hospital via Lingadzi round about past NAC offices and parliament building before delivering the petition at civic Offices.
In Blantyre, those participating in the demonstrations will assemble at Upper Stadium through the high way to deliver petition at Civic Offices. In Mzuzu, assembly will be at Katoto and match throughMzuzu Clock tower via the high Court roundabout before delivery of a petition at Civic Offices.
In Zomba, the plan is for CSO members and other demonstrators to assemble at the community centre ground then a match through Mponda Primary and direct to the Zomba district assembly to deliver the petition
According to the statement, in Karonga district, demonstrators will gather at Karonga round about and match directly to the district council offices to deliver the petition.
Organizers of the demonstrations say the protests, which will be undertaken by Malawians from all sections of the society, will comply with dictates of the law and will be peaceful.
Over 22 civil society organizations, including some rights activists endorsing the demonstrations in their individual capacity are expecting to take part.
“We trust, Sir, that by this notice, the relevant security organs of the government will take their rightful role as provided for in the Republican Constitution, and further, in accordance with section 40  [d] in respect of prevention of obstruction on occasion of public assemblies, processions or demonstrations on the public roads or streets,” reads a statement released Wednesday.
The statement, signed for by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation-CHRR- is said to have been endorsed by: Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), Nurses Organization of Malawi, Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV and AIDS, Malawi Network of People Living With HIV.
There is also the Citizens for Justice (CFJ), Civic and Political Space (CPS) , Church and Society Programme– Livingstonia Synod (CSP-LS) , Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF), Hebrews Misomali (In his capacity as a human rights defender), Benedicto Kondowe (In his capacity as a human rights defender), Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre , National Elections Trust ANPPCAN Malawi Chapter, Local NGO Forum on HIV/AIDS , Foundation for Community Support Services, Youth and Society, Child Development and Support Organization, Centre for Youth Development, Outreach Scout Foundation and Youth Watch and Society.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :