There was drama on Monday at a news conference in Blantyre organised by Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) on the January 17 demonstration against the rising cost of living when CAMA’s project officer Mac Sightings Mdoka announced in his boss John Kapito’s face that he has withdrawn from the planned protests.
Mdoka earlier told journalists that the demonstrations will still take place on January 17 and that all arrangements are in place.
But when he was quizzed on allegations that CAMA bosses have been corrupted by government to suspend or cancel their scheduled January 17th protests as reported by Nyasa Times on Saturday, Mdoka played his cards close to the chest.
Mdoka, however, later pulled the trigger when he told reporters that he was withdrawing from the demonstrations, joining the chorus by various stakeholders to give dialogue a chance.
“I am pulling out of the demonostrations. There are better ways to resolve the people’s suffering than mass protests,” he said.
Mdoka accused the co-members for refusing to have a room of dialogue with the Malawi government before going to the streets.
“Let demonstration be the last resort,” Mdoka insisted in front of Kapito who conspicuously looked stunned.
Kapito said he knew some people would betray him and that money has exchanged hands to “buy off organisers”.
“I said there will be some Judas and this vindicates my fears,” he said.
“This also confirms that poverty has really stricken Malawians, people can even sale their souls,” said Kapito.
On Friday, some of the organisers of the demonstrations, including the committee’s spokesperson Kingsley Mabalani, announced that at least 10 out of the 20 known members of the initiative have withdrawn from the planned demonstrations, saying they would want to give dialogue a chance.
Kapito maintained the demonstrations “by the consumers” will proceed as planned.
He explained that the demonstrations are a consumer issue with Cama being on the forefront as a body with a mandate to defend consumers and that they are being supported by the Council for Non-Government Organisation (Congoma).
On the calls for dialogue, Kapito argued that dialogue can be initiated in various ways and that “demonstrating is also dialogue.”
He said the protests are also aimed to pressure the Joyce Banda’s government to jumpstart the economy.
Government spokesman Moses Kunkuyu has said the Banda administration will not undermine the constitutional rights of the organizers to hold peaceful ptotests.
He however pointed out that the “door is open for dialogue.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :