Business went as usual in the Capital City Lilongwe as Malawians held peaceful demonstrations to express anger over dwindling of health service delivery in Malawi hospitals although there was drama as the two parallel demonstrators with different issues delivered their petition to authorities.
The Tuesday demonstrations took place and finished without serious incidents of violence or rioting. Caution was taken because of the violent protests in July 2011, where nationwide rioting left 19 people dead.
Human Rights defender and social commentator, Billy Mayaya was the first on the programme to deliver petition to President Peter Mutharika through Lilongwe City Assembly officials.
A handful people took part in the Mayaya organised demos while Police outnumbered the demonstrators protesting soaring costs caused by inflation and calling on President Peter Mutharika reduce his spending on travel and asking government to fast-track reforms to include mechanism to crackdown on corruption and win donor confidence.
Mayaya said he was not discouraged with a small number of protestors, saying what was paramount to him was to deliver the petition to the President.
“Day in day out we continue to witness the continued decline in quality of services in provision of service delivery in key sectors such as health, education and energy. We demand the President to address these concerns,” said Mayaya.
Receiving the petition Director of administration, Dyson Milanzi received the petition on behalf of Lilongwe City council Chief executive officer.
In the same capital city, another demonstration was also held to raise awareness on the need for Malawians to support and own the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Delivering the petition titled “SDGs are the hope for millions of Malawians let us unite to implement them,” former president of Malawi Congress of Trade union, Luther Mambala said citizens and the civil society are mindful of the fact that commendable efforts were made to achieve the MDGs and that the progress made this far will lay strong foundations needed for the achievement of the SDGs.
Mandala called upon President Mutharika to create to more space for citizen engagement around the SdGs.
“We also urge NGOs in the country to align themselves with SDGs,” said Mambala.
Earlier, Executive Secretary for Citizen Alliance Wilson Asibu said he was not happy that Government had hijacked the caravan.
“What we did is that we invited government to be present but to our surprise they came here with placards which contain foul messages,” said Asibu.
Some of the messages which were under protest and later removed included:”Chakwera and Msowoya abweze K300million,” which referred to the story on the procurement of four executive vehicles by Parliamentary Services Commission for the Speaker, his two deputies and leader of opposition.
But after lengthy discussions, the placards were later withdrawn from the public.
Minister of Information and civic education Jappie Mhango, Presidential advisor on CSOs Mabvuto Bamusi, Chief presidential economic advisor Collins Magalasi and Lilongwe CEO attended the SDG’s demo.
Receiving the petition, Mhango promised to Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :