Human Rights activist Billy Mayaya has confirmed that the demonstrations against poor service delivery by the Electricity Supply Coorperation of Malawi (Escom) in offering Malawians reliable electricity will proceed despite calls from the Police and Lilongwe City Council to have the date to hold the demo’s shifted to a later date.
Mayaya said this after holding a meeting with officials from the Malawi Police Service and Lilongwe City Council o Monday ahead of the demonstrations slated for Tuesday 18th October, 2016.
While confirming about the meeting, Mayaya claimed all the right procedures have been followed in organising the march protests and expressed surprise on why the police and the council are trying to block the demonstrations.
“Yes we have followed procedures and notified both the police and Lilongwe City Council [Before Monday Meeting]. We are surprised that at a meeting held today (Monday) both the council and police want to infringe on our right to demonstrate peacefully” said Mayaya in an email response to Nyasa Times on Monday.
“They suggested to our shock that we change the date for reasons best known to themselves. We have put our foot down and informed them that we shall proceed because we have followed the law” explained Mayaya.
Mayaya blames the police and the council officials for politicizing the matter.
“We know that Police and council are bowing to political pressure thats their problem. We are going ahead with our plans to exert pressure on Escom to stop playing games with Malawians. We want power all day everyday not pathetic excuses” charged Mayaya.
He therefore reminded the police and city council officials that
Malawians have a constitutional right to demonstrate and no amount of intimidation or threats from the police or government will change or resolve to demand improved service delivery from Escom.
According to Mayaya, the march will take place in Lilongwe and will start at Area 18 round about starting from 7:00am.
“We shall congregate at Area 18 round about proceed to City Centre round about make a U-turn up to the traffic Escom house at City Centre. There we shall read out a petition which will be handed to Escom officials,” said Mayaya.
The dress code for the demo’s is pure black and all participants are being asked to carry a candle and a walkman of charcoal.
Malawians have been experiencing excessive power black out in the past few months.
In some areas, people have only had electricity for less than five hours in a period of 24 hours.
Escom officials attributed the problem to the decrease and lowering of water levels in Shire River which they said has greatly affected the production of electricity at its main power house.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :