Government authorities in Malawi’s northern district have denounced the planned demonstrations in favour of introduction of federal system of government as a plot against the state and accused the organisers of preparing for violence.
Tutulane Palikimo Business Association and Karonga Youth for Justice and Development submitted a letter to the DC on Friday asking the authorities to give them permission to hold the pro-federism demonstrations.
In a one page petition signed by Steve Simsokwe, Jalako Mwenefumbo and Happy Gondwe addressed to the District Commissioner and the Officer in Charge of Police, the youth are among other issues demanding government to switch to federal system of government or autonomy for the northern religion, stop quota system of selection of students to public universities, equal distribution of resources and that Karonga should become a municipality.
Karonga District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo has downplayed the content of the petition saying the reasons given do not guarantee a demonstration and that the youths are just “being forced to do so.”
“I can see that these so called associations are acting out of ignorance and they don’t know what it takes for people to do demonstrations, as a commissioner of the district I am telling you now that the demonstrations will not take place in Karonga,” said Moyo.
Moyo said everything which is in the petition has already been addressed.
“The other thing is that everything which is in their so called petition has already been addressed. On the issue of federism, chiefs said are not in support of that.
“Talk of quota system government has said that new university is coming in the north. On equal distribution of resource they have not indicated which resources they want to be distributed equally which is a clearly assurance that the people responsible don’t know what they are doing and have just been forced to do so,” said Moyo.
Human rights activists in the district from Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Grecian Mbewe said the “gives us a right to conduct demonstration in our country but with valid reasons and in the right channel.”
Karonga Business Community chairperson Wavisanga Silungwe said there are many ways of expressing the desire of federism apart from demos.
District Officer in Charge of Police Foster Mangani warned to arrest anyone who will bring violence in the district.
“As security people our duty is to take care the well being of people in the district and to protect their properties so if anyone will or is trying to start violence in the district the law will be in charge without seeing who is who. Everything has the right procedure with valid reasons not just from the dreams,” said Mangani.
The demonstrations have been slated for 28 September.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :