Malawi activists, opposition demand referendum

Malawi civil society organisations  and opposition have said only a referendum can give people in the country a genuine platform to decided whether President Bingu wa Mutharika should continue ruling the country or not.

Addressing the press in Blantyre, a rights activists under the name Human Rights Defenders claimed that Mutharika has lost the mandate and trust of the electorate to rule and that people would want to express themselves through the referendum on whether to allow him rule up to 2014 or not.

Opposition parties have also called on Mutharika to resign or call for a referendum on his leadership.

Katsonga: Mutharika must resign or seek fresh mandate

Presidential spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba has however quashed the demands for Mutharika’s resignation or call for referendum.

“Malawians are running out of patience,” Reverend Macdonald Sembereka told journalists.

“We are calling for a referendum for the government to renew its mandate,” the cleric added.

Benedicto Kondowe said it was clear that Malawi was in the defacto state of emergency, and that government has stopped respecting court orders.

In a separate news conference which was addressed by political leaders, veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba, who served in Mutharika’s cabinet and was once arrested for calling the President a “drunk and a brute” said he has come out from his cocoon to fight “Mutharika’s dictatorship regime to the end.”

PPM president Mark Katsonga Phiri called for Mutharika government’s resignation or challenged them to call for referendum for failing Malawians.

UDF’s Dr George Nga Mtafu also echoed the calls for Mutharika to resign and

But Presidential spokesman says only “neutral people” should challenge the unconstitutional elements in courts if any.

Ntaba argued that Malawians can only call for the President’s resignation or call for referendum if a competent court establishes there are sufficient grounds.

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