Ordinary citizens in Nsanje District on Tuesday held peaceful demonstrations against what they described as calls by disgruntled and self-enriching individuals and civil society organizations (CSOs) for President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to step down.
The demonstrators, marching under the banner of Nsanje Alliance of Concerned Citizens, expressed dismay with the high-level greed and selfishness by some individuals and CSO leaders who are calling for Chakwera’s resignation.
Publicity secretary for the protesters Shadreck Goba said time had come for CSO leaders and self-imposing human rights activists to acknowledge that ordinary citizens, too, have a voice and that they do not need someone to speak for them.
“These so-called human rights activists should stop claiming that they are speaking for us. They are speaking for themselves and their greed,” said Goba.
He added: “Who do they consult before organizing their demonstrations? We have come here to set the record straight: none of us in Nsanje has ever proposed the resignation of President Chakwera as a solution to the socio-economic problems we are facing in this country.”
After a peaceful march, the protesters presented a petition to the office of the DC in which they highlighted a number of grievances against human rights activists and CSO leaders.
Early this week, Senior National Governing Council (NGC) member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Ken Msonda also condemned individuals who are reportedly mobilizing and sponsoring ‘thugs’ to loot, steal and beat innocent people in the name of peaceful demonstrations to force Chakwera to resign.
Msonda – who is also the Executive Director of Independent Political and Good Governance Analysts Think Tank – described calls for Chakwera to resign as baseless and silly, adding that those who are calling for the demonstrations have a hidden agenda.
“I strongly object to the calls from other quarters including the opposition for the state president and his vice to resign, call for referendum through demonstrations being organized and sponsored by those who just want to enrich themselves,” he said.
Msonda added: “These calls and demonstrations are unnecessary, undemocratic, uncivilized and primitive line of thinking because they do not provide a solution to bail Malawians from the current global economic challenges.”