Malawi Govt, Kapito to hold dialogue on Friday: 21 days ultimatum expires

Finally government has officially called for a round table discussion with Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Executive Director, John Kapito over the January 17 petition as the 21 days ultimatum expires.

During the January 17 demonstrations, Cama gave government 21 days, which expires on Friday (February 15, 2013) to respond to its petition through which it asked government to stop Kwacha floatation, sell controversial presidential jet and Mercedes Benz cars used by ministers and reduction of presidential convoy.

It also asked for reduction in presidential and cabinet travels, eradicate corruption, declaration of asserts and bloated cabinet and executive arrogance. The petition also included issues of salary hike and employment of permanent ministerial secretaries.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, Kapito said “The meeting is scheduled for Capital Hill this Friday afternoon. I will be in better place to comment on our petition ultimatum and whatever action we will take after the meeting because it is all about the plight of the poor people”.

Kapito:  To  hold talks with government

Kapito: To hold talks with governmenti5o

The meeting according to Kapito was proposed by Ministry of Information Principal Secretary (PS) Anthony Livuza and was expected to take place Wednesday February 13, 2014.

“We are committed with some activities, and that is why it has been rescheduled to Friday. We are set for the meeting,” he added.

Kapito said the current sit-in by civil servants at Capital Hill, Lilongwe will act as a bargaining chip for their meeting with government on the Cama January 17 petition.

“The issue of civil servants’ salaries is one of the issues raised in the petition. It will increase our bargaining our powers”.

In January, Cama held demonstrations in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu that was hailed as peaceful. During the demonstrations Kapito disclosed they will hold continuous protests and vigils at State House in order to force government to effect issues raised in the petition.

But Kunkuyu told Nyasa Times earlier this month government was responding to the petition citing the reduction of presidential convoy, the grounding of some Mercedes Benz used by Ministers as well as selling of the controversial jet.

“We believe Malawians asked for action and we are implementing some of their concerns. The convoy is changed, if you can check some of the Mercedes Benzes are now packed at OPC, the jet is on sale and the President is currently undertaking funded trips only,” he said.

On Kwacha flotation and civil servants salary increase, Kunkuyu said “Those issues are broad and can’t be dealt with over night. Meanwhile, the civil servants are in talks with government on the same issue of increments. We have made good response so far but it’s up to the nation to decide how we should communicate our response”.

Cama joined by Council for Non-governmental Organizations of Malawi (Congoma) and some unnamed community based organizations held national-wide demonstrations in protest against President Joyce Banda’s administration failure to address current economic challenges, which include high inflation rate and uncontrolled fuel pricing.

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