Analyst hails CSOs for peaceful protest, condemns Malawi police inaction on DPP demos

A renowned governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali has hailed the Civil Society and demonstrators for a peaceful and well patronised 27 April demonstrations but condemned the Police’s inaction on illegal Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) anti-CSO demo protests on the eve of this nationwide demonstrations.

Timothy Mtambo one of the lead organisers if the demo

Responding to a Nyasa Times questionnaire response on his analysis of the 27 April demonstrations, Munthali said the way the organisers of the demos as well as the demonstrators themselves conducted themselves in these demonstrations -despite DPP government propaganda to instil fear in Malawians against participating in these demonstrations – showed that not all was lost in as far as advancement of active citizenship in Malawi is concerned.

“CSOs and Malawians in all the 6 parts of the country where the demonstrations were being held must be commended for peacefully conducting themselves in exercising their right to demonstration. It was clear that the DPP government had deliberately created a hostile, intimidating environment to stop the people from joining these protests to register their grievances to the chief duty bearer.

“The parading of DPP sponsored traditional leaders, activists, and religious leaders on tax payers funded MBC, reports of a Presidential Advisor to the President paying K300, 000 to some vendors in Mzuzu to cause destruction to the demonstrations, and DPP’s illegal demonstrations and ferrying of cadets in lorries in Blantyre on the eve of the 27 April demos were regrettable acts that must be condemned in strongest terms,” said Munthali.

However,  he said despite such a hostile environment the demonstrators came out in large numbers to exercise their constitutional right peacefully.

“This must be commended as it’s a clear testimony that no matter how much you try to intimidate people from following their conscience, the voice and power of the people will still prevail. And indeed we saw this in all the 6 districts where the march was done”, said Munthali

Munthali also took a swipe to bash the Malawi Police Service and Blantyre City’s Chief Executive Officer in the manner it handled the DPP’s illegal protests on the eve of the CSOs 27 April 2018 demonstrations.

“While the DPP supporters have the constitutional right to demonstrate and freedom of assembly, it’s clear that they never followed the required procedures to be allowed to demonstrate as per Police Act. Even if they were to follow the procedures to conduct their march on 26th April 2018 in Blantyre way before hand, the Blantyre City Council CEO in consultation with Police would not have allowed them to do so mindful that the following day there would be CSOs demonstrations. Such a decision would purely be made on security issues.

“However, while the CSOs in Blantyre had a tough time to get a go-ahead from Blantyre City Council CEO to proceed with the demonstrations despite submitting the notification in good time, the DPP supporters ferried in lorries invaded Blantyre in what they called ‘anti-CSOs demonstrations’ demos. All this happened without police protection – in the process causing security risks to innocent Malawians. Neither the police nor Blantyre City Council stopped these people from proceeding with their illegal acts. This is regrettable. The message one gets from Blantyre City Council and Police is that the DPP supporters are immune to regulations as provided for by the Police Act and the Constitution. Again, it also indirectly shows that the DPP supporters or protestors are more Malawian than the CSOs demos protestors. This reflects badly on the police and Blantyre city council” said Munthali

Nonetheless, Munthali applauded the Deputy Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa for his intervention in reaching a consensus with the organisers of the demonstrations to allow Lilongwe protestors to march to Capital after the Police had blocked the protesters.

“This was maturity on the part of the Deputy IG after meeting CSO’s leaders as continued insistence for the citizens to submit the petition at Civic officers would have caused much havoc considering that both the authorities and citizens were informed about the Capital Hill as the place where the petition would be delivered. Overall, the Police conducted themselves in a professional manner in all the 6 districts where the demos were being done. This is commendable,’ said Munthali.

Munthali also commended the Minister of Information Nicholaus Dausi for organising the press conference a few days before the demonstrations alongside Minister of Labour Katsaila to brief Malawians on what it was doing towards addressing some of the concerns raised by the CSOs.

“While on one hand such a gesture by the Honourable Minister of Information may have been perceived as an act of panic and desperation following the CSOs 27 demo hype, on the other hand this was a good decision in as far as democratic governance principles of responsiveness and accountability are concerned.

“Certainly, the minister and the technocrats may not have addressed adequately all the issues raised by CSOs but the very fact that the Minister had departed from his earlier statements that government would not respond to matters relating to demonstrations because he was not party to such and now humbled himself to provide updates on a number of issues including the electricity blackouts is a positive step which must be commended. However, my advise is that such updating of the state of socio-economic situation should not only happen during the times of demos but rather should be an institutionalised practice where government should regularly inform the citizens on what it was doing to deal with various problems” said Munthali.

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YOSWA
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YOSWA

Kodi nkhani za ma demo ndi Livingstonia and Nkhoma synods zikukhudzana bwanji?and the chakwera mansion yabweramo bwanji coz if he is using govt money or stealing why not just bring forward evidence so that he is arrested period, as for synods, both have churches in each others territory and they live in harmony ndiye mukuti uyu apange analyse kuti chani. Lets look at what he has written about demos and critic or comment accordingly.

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

A Munthali why are you not condemning the sharing of money at night by your CSOs? Why are you not condemning the encroachment of Livingstonia CCAP synod into Nkhoma synod? Why are you not condemning the bribing of Chakwera by Maurice Munthali’s joining of MCP for protection of this encroachment in the case of the MCP win. Mr Munthali when are you going to condemn the lavish life style displayed by the leader of opposition who is constructing a house costing hundreds of millions of kwachas not in line with his earning capacity. Mr Munthali you are the first and… Read more »

LEGO
Guest

I have never seen someone who is so useless than you.What is your point here now?

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Notwithsatnding, LEGO might have a point. He’s merely expressing his disgust at how corrupt and immoral and unethical our political leaders and the clergy are, across the board. We certainly need to look at the Malawi situation with clean lenses and unbiased mind. We all tend to comment with our biasses and yet most of those we support are also not as clean as we might want them to be. All we know is that we need to transform Malawi politics and to talk to the Malawi we all want. This would require a new set of hands which is… Read more »

Laanje
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Laanje

A Makhumbo Munthani , kodi T-shirt avala bwana Mtambo yo akuti “mama…” Akutanthauzanji. Please tichitire analyze. Anaitenga kuti. ndipo “mamawo” ndiye ati? Za copy and paste kapana zenizeni? Monga inuyo a analyst pa Malawi tiuzeni “mama” anawatumayo ndi ndani.

Apoche
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Apoche

You have no point…..

LEGO
Guest

If you have got nothing to say you better remain silent because they is nothing what you are saying here

Chifundo
Guest
Chifundo

Tithandizeni ifenso tidziwe nawo, za mama zikutanthauza chani?

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