Government has reiterated that only contact and dialogue could help to resolve some of the challenges the country was going through as opposed to the decision by Civil Society Organisatiions (CSOs) of staging demonstrations.
Presidential Advisor on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Mavuto Bamusi made the observation in an interview with in Blantyre ahead of theApril 27 planned national wide demonstrations by CSOs.
The CSOs are demanding cancellation of disbursement of the K4 billion and the resignation of Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Minister for Local Government and Rural Development) over their roles in the scam.
They argue that the K4 billion allocation is illegal and not in the best interest of Malawians; hence, the need to immediately cancel it.
The demonstrations, which the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and opposition political parties are supporting, will be held under the theme For How Long Shall Malawians Continue To Be Taken for Granted? Loss of Public Trust in the Current Administration: Time to Reclaim Our Destiny .
Bamusi said government has always stood for contact and dialogue in its pursuit to maintaining peace, law and order unlike holding protests or demonstrations, saying the experience with demonstrations is that people may lose life and bring economic activities to a standstill.
The Presidential Advisor appealed to all organisers of the demonstrations to consider dialogue as a lasting solution to resolving the differenecs that may be thre betweeen the CSOs and government, noting that the country has always been associated with peace as the ‘warm heart of Africa.’
“It is the right of every Malawian to hold peaceful demonstrations because the Constitution provides for that, but the manner and nature under which demonstrations are being organised by the CSOs is somehow an act of politicking,” Bamusi noted.
He said government was already making strides in addressing some of the issues highlighted by the CSOs, noting that one of the contentious issue being the K4 billion given out parliamentarians whereby govenment already opened up to a round–table discussion with concerned parties.
Bamusi commended the leadership ofPresident Peter Mutharika on account that no demonstration plea has ever been rejected under his administration.
“There are many peaceful means of resolving issues in which the CSOs can undertake unlike rushing to demonstrate in the streets which most often result in damage to property,” Bamusi pointed out, urgingCSO leaders to continuously engage with govenment for an amicable resolution to grievances.
The demonstrations are also being supported, among others, by the quasi-religious Public Affairs Committee (PAC), the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and 10 opposition political parties that include the country’s former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha as president for Assembly for Democracy and Development (ADD), presidents for People’s Progressive Movement (PPM)Mark Katsonga Phiri, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) George Nnensa, United Transformation Party (UTP) Newton Kambala and People’s Transformation Party (Petra) Kamuzu Chibambo.
The political parties, which also include Republican Party, United Independent Party, New Labour Party, National Unity Party and Malawi Democratic Party, say the culture of impunity that has dominated the Malawi political space for many decades, must be stopped now
In Lilongwe, where they expected the Presidency to receive their petition, the CSOs plan to march from Chisomo Private Secondary School in Mchesi, via Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) Roundabout, through Lingadzi Roundabout via Parliament Building to Capital Hill.
In Blantyre, CSOs will protest from the Upper Stadium via Chipembere Highway to the civic offices, while in Mzuzu, they expect to march from Katoto via Mzuzu Clock Tower via High Court Round-about to civic offices.