A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) warned to hold nationwide protests as part of a campaign against corruption, economic mismanagement and unemployment.
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Centre for Development of People (CEDEP), Youth and Society (YAS) and Church and Society (Livingstonia Synod) on Thursday held peaceful protest in Lilongwe and presented a petition to Parliament with most businesses opening as normal.
But after presenting the petition to lawmaker Kamlepo Kalua, CEDEP exevutive director Gift Trapence said they expect government will act on the challenges facing the country and address their concerns to end to impunity which they claim has reached disturbing levels in the country.
They are also demanding transparency and accountability as well us fighting corruption without discrimination and end the practice of the rich to hold stockpiles of undeclared cash.
“The application of the law should not be selective. We have seen that the behaviour of the President is to shield his friends to make sure they are above the law. The law should not only target the poor and Malawians should comeforward and demand for accountability from the President,” said Trapence
But Trapence said if government will not address the concerns, they will be compelled to organise nationwide anti-government demonstrations.
“We will call for mass demonstrations because we cannot live with this impunity,” said Trapence.
Nyasa Times understands that there is a movement planning a seven day mass protest from April 28 to be joined by opposition parties calling for “last push” of the government if it will not address their concerns.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera has already persuaded Malawians to confront President r Mutharika’s regime over worsening corruption in the country.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, argues that Mutharika has defied the will and wishes of Malawians long enough, and it is time for Malawians to defy him.
“The corruption levels among his top officials have reached a critical stage and should he decide his laissez faire approach to issues, I will have to lead Malawians myself into the streets to protest against his administration,” Chakwera warned on when he addressed reporters at his Parliament office.
Human rights activist Billy Mayaya who presented the petition said they are demanding President Mutharika to implement all recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation and Public Accounts and the State-sanctioned Commission of Inquiry on the ‘Maizegate’ scandal.
He said there should be no selective prosecution on corruption, demanding President Mutharika to ensure those in the corridors of powers have no amnesty to indictment.
The CSOs pursuant to the watchdog mandate in defending peoples’ rights and good governance are in deep shock at the uncovering of the millions of local and foreign cash at the residence of fired Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
“Undoubtedly, this suspicious development smacks of criminal acts akin to the 2013 infamous cash-gate in which several public servants were caught with bags of money looted from the public purse. We are left with the impression that looting of public resources (cash-gate) by public servants has continued since 2014 under President Mutharika’s watch”, the statement issued by the organisers reads.
It adds: “One wonders how a Cabinet Minister could be in possession of huge sums of money amounting to 124 Million Kwacha and 58 000 USD among other foreign currencies stashed in suitcases at his residence”.
The CSO’s have commended the Commission of Inquiry and the Joint Parliamentary Committee for their patriotic and credible inquiry reports into the maize scam which has set a tone for action by relevant prosecutorial institutions such as the ACB and Police.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :