The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has mobilised its supporters in the commercial capital Blantyre to be in the streets and protest against plans of some civil society organisations (CSOs) to hold nationwide demonstrations on Friday, April 27 in protest against what they consider lack of transparency and accountability in government.
The DPP supporters -who were ferried trucks and other vehicles – flooded streets of Blantyre on Thursday clad in their blue colours with a number of vehicles carrying placards against Friday’s ‘march of no confidence’.
A day before the July 20 2012 demonstrations against the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime, the DPP cadets were seen in DPP vehicles, brandishing panga knives to keep Malawians off the streets. But the demonstrations went ahead the next day.
This time around there was no brandishing of panga knives but tension was high as DPP supporters drove around the streets.
Youth and Society executive director Charles Kajoloweka who is among the organisers of the protests said despite facing intimidation and propaganda, they are going ahead with march of no confidence in the current administration.
“It is our hope that Malawians will come and cast their vote of no confidence on April 27. As organisers, we are doing our best to raise awareness about these demonstrations. We have engaged other interested stakeholders and the citizenry. We have done our part, the rest is for the citizens to do their part,”he said.
Kajoloweka said they are going ahead with the protests and that we will make sure they are successfully executed.
”They will take place no matter what happens. There is no possibility of postponement or cancellation or even reversal.”
Malawi Police Service, on the other hand, stated that it is ready to handle the protests and ensure that they do not degenerate into violence or any disturbances.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said: “As police, we are ready to see to it that the demonstrations are held peacefully.
“We are also calling on all stakeholders, including the organisers and Malawians in general, to make sure that their constitutional right to protest is exercised in a fair manner.”
Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence, one of the organisers, assured people to trust them, saying they are serving the interests of Malawians at large.
In an apparent reference to the condemnation of the demonstrations by some chiefs, he described the parading of traditional leaders to discredit the protests as cheap propaganda.
Timothy Mtambo, chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Forum, said the organisers will set deadlines for the issues in the petition and return to the streets if they are not addressed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :