Malawians favour anti-government demo, newspaper survey shows

A newspaper survey has revealed that many Malawians favour the January anti-government demonstrations being organised by the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama).

Nation on Sunday report said the majority of Malawians interviewed in a survey lent their support to the protests.

The newspaper asked Malawians whether they support the demonstrations.

It its report on Sunday, the weekly which is one of the titles of the flagship National Publications Limited, said out of the 1713 respondents sampled, 1001 supported the demonstrations, representing a 58 percent majority.

It said the week-long poll was conducted by a team of correspondents in 19 districts, in addition to its SMS line and the social media.

Kapito: Championing the demos

“Those in support of the demonstrations generally pointed what they called the arrogance of the Joyce Banda administration, the constitutional right to demonstrate, the tough economic times and the fact that Banda spoke in favour of demonstrations in 2011,” the paper reported.

But the paper noted that the protest is receiving a “lukewarm support” in cities, which are the epicenters of mass action in the country.

“Out of 185 respondents polled in Lilongwe, Zomba, Mzuzu and Blantyre, 99 went for demonstrations, while 85 gave them a thumbs down.”

Cama boss John Kapito has said that during the impending consumer strike planned for January next year consumers will present a petition of their demands and areas which they need government to reform to improve the current economic situation.

The issue of serious concern to the consumers is the current flotation of the kwacha which Cama argued has led to the ever increasing prices of consumer goods thereby exerting pressure on Malawians. Council for Non-Governmental Organisation in Malawi (Congoma) also said it would join Cama in mobilising people to stage the strike.

Minister of Information  and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu has since said Joyce Banda’s administration will not counter the demonstrations.

Kunkuyu, who is government spokesman, however said: ”Demonstrations will take us nowhere, just bring solutions, not demos. Remember July 20; the people who died were not even participating, be careful my Malawi!”

The paper also quoted human rights activist Billy Mayaya who said as much as he is not part of the demonstrations, the right to demonstrate is constitutionally guaranteed and that there is nothing like the right time to demonstrate.

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