Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has said the civil society organisations (CSOs) planning the April 27 2018 demonstrations should not create a hype out of nothing.
Dausi, who is also official government spokesman, was reacting to threats by CSOs to hold vigils at Capital Hill until either President Peter Mutharika or Vice-President Saulos Chilima receives their petition.
The CSOs, organising the demonstrations to express dissatisfaction with the K4 billion payout to members of Parliament (MPs) and other socio-economic and governance issues.
“They should not create an impression as if something lawless is happening in the country,” said Dausi.
He said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government is already addressing most of the issues raised by the CSOs.
The protests organisers have written Chief Secretary to Government Llyod Muhara, notifying Capital Hill of their intentions to hold demonstrations on Friday and the vigil until their 10-point petition is received by either President Mutharika or Vice-President Chilima.
In the letter, signed by chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF) chairperson Timothy Mtambo and other rights defenders Gift Trapence, Charles Kajoloweka and Billy Mayaya, the CSOs said they were mindful of the Executive’s attempts to frustrate the protests.
Spokesperson for the April 27 demonstrations, Gift Trapence, told Nyasa Times that the CSOs would not leave Capital Hill until either Mutharik or Chilima personally receives the petition.
“We have given the gsovernment notice on the same. If they think we are childish, we will hold the vigil right away at Capital Hill until one of them receives our petition,” said Trapence..
According to the CSOs, the nature of the issues contained in their 10-point petition requires the ‘chief political executive’ of the political arm of the public service (President or Vice-President) to receive the petition.
“Indeed, as rightly put in the 2014 DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] manifesto that no person in Malawi should ever believe that Malawi is his or her personal property.
“We, the citizens shall not sit and watch Executive arrogance from either the President or Vice-President stopping Malawians from exercising their constitutional right in demanding the fulfilment of the presidency’s obligations in the Social Contract which they signed with Malawians in 2014,” they added.
Mutharika is currently outside the country on official duties whilst Chilima said he would delegate an official from the Office of the President and Cabinet to receive the petition.
Meanwhile, Government spokesman has reiterated that the Constitution guarantees the citizenry their right to hold peaceful demonstrations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :