Malawi groups call for ‘economic freedom’ nationwide demonstrations  to remove illegal immigrants

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and the Lilongwe and Blantyre Small Scale Business Operators are set to take to the streets beginning December 16, 2020, to protest the decision by President Lazarus Chakwera to ignore their call to take action on illegal immigrants who are plying trade in the country’s strategic cities and towns.

Demonstrations mood 

CDEDI and the business operators recently wrote Chakwera demanding that his government should flush out illegal immigrants from China, Nigeria, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Rwanda, Burundi, and Somalia who are conducting businesses in the country and have allegedly taken up the last available economic opportunities for the locals.

But the President has remained mute on the matter, a development that has prompted to mobilize Malawians to descend on the streets effective Wednesday, December 16, 2020, with the City of Lilongwe where a petition will be delivered to the President through the City’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The peaceful demonstrations will then spill over to the cities of Blantyre and Mzuzu.

Addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday, CDEDI executive director, Sylvester Namiwa, said further details on the route that will be taken, and the time for the peaceful demonstrations will be announced in due course.

“The fourteen (14) day ultimatum CDEDI and the Lilongwe and Blantyre Small Scale Business Operators gave to government has elapsed. So far, there has not been any response from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), and neither has there been any word from the State House. This is a clear case of impunity and executive arrogance which has no space in a modern-day democratic Malawi,” he said.

“CDEDI and the Lilongwe Small Scale Business Operators will lead all well-meaning Malawians in exercising their democratic right to conduct peaceful demonstrations to demand answers and explanations from President Chakwera and his administration on Chakwera’s refusal to withdraw and apologise to the nation for using the word ‘Nyasi’ in reference to people his government is arresting, firing or suspending from the public service; the shambolic Affordable Input Program (AIP), which is taking away the dignity of the poor people, especially women who are sleeping at the selling depots and are being exposed to all sorts of sexual abuses,” said Namiwa who was flanked by the leadership of Lilongwe and Blantyre Small Scale Business Operators.

He added that his organization and the business operators have been rilled by the failure by the Tonse Alliance government to address acute shortages of food across the country, which have hit hard the poor and the marginalized people.

Additionally, they are against the government’s alleged selective application of justice by arresting people from one region and tribe while sparing corrupt public officials from the Tonse Alliance partners such as a Cabinet Minister, his advisor and other alliance partners involved in the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) fuel supply scandal.

“We are protesting against failure by Chakwera to update Malawians on the hotel bills saga at Crossroads Hotel involving his Chief of Staff and the Director of Finance at State House; Chakwera’s failure to honour his promise to produce an expenditure report on the Independence Celebrations that were cancelled at the eleventh hour; the inhumane enforcement of tax and other regulations on Motorbike Kabanza operators; the doubling of MPs’ and Ward Councilors’ perks when the rest of the civil servants have been given an average 10 percent hike; total disregard of the rule of law by Dr. Chakwera and the Secretary to the President Cabinet,” said Namiwa.

He further accused the State President of acting contrary to the Attorney General’s legal opinion to give Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje their appointment letters, and by accepting the firing of public officers with legal contracts; ignoring the voices of the landless people in Thyolo and Mulanje districts, whose land was grabbed by the white settlers from Britain and the abandonment of the Tonse Alliance flagship campaign promises that were contained in the alliance partners’ consolidated manifesto.

Namiwa reminded Chakwera that political and legal powers accorded to him under section 12 of the Republican Constitution derive from the people of Malawi, and the one exercising such powers does so on sustained trust.

“It is, therefore, our expectation that the President will act on these issues in earnest, and as his obligation to serve Malawians, without necessarily waiting for the citizenry to go onto the streets to demand their rights,” he concluded.

With these developments, Malawi is likely to be in the demo mood once again.

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Ulemu K Namitembo
Ulemu K Namitembo
4 months ago

CDEDI and Small Scale Business Operators of Malawian are they paying Taxes to MRA the way Immigrants pay Taxes
99% of Malawian Owned Small Scale Business Operators Even do Not have EFD Machines and they are NOT even Registered with MRA
That’s is the Reason Why MCP Chakwera.and UTM Chilima are Not taking Action
MCP+UTM Party Presidents know very well that Malawian Owned Business Do Not pay Taxes Much of the Taxes.Collected is from Asian Business in Malawi

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
4 months ago

If the vendors are illegal immigrants, why tolerate this? Many governments in the SADC region have this challenge. It’s a trigger for xenophobia because the bone of contention is economic opportunities perceived to be grabbed by these illigal foreigners.

Mereke Banda
Mereke Banda
4 months ago

Of course the Zimbabwean guy has spoken all the truth. Multi choice Malawi is very expensive or not affordable by any locals because of their prices. Always they quote in American dollars and no matter it is converted to Malawi Kwacha it does not assist many Malawians. The costing is very expensive.

National Ceo
National Ceo
4 months ago

Namiwa why didn’t you protest when DPP was in power? These people are illegal immigrants because of some DPP senior members who are in police custody because of corrupt issue of passports. Ndiye mukufuna mupake bibi yanu anthu osalakwa?

Pewani
Pewani
4 months ago

Zopusa basi. Pano tikuvala mapanti chifukwa cha Matchaina omwewo. Ndiye mukufuna tizivala nyanda?

Gmahewa
Gmahewa
4 months ago

Namiwa wants to be fame for nothing.Tonse Alliance government is taking the gear and why this guy did not make any noise the time of Dpp government? S=Mr Namiwa works for opposition party and Chakwera and Chilima should be very careful. May be should we say that Namiwa is being sent by the vice president of the republic?

Mphetetewira
Mphetetewira
4 months ago

I will not join the demos because most of it is politics. Kaunda and Mussa are these from southern region?please let us talk about immigrant to be flushed and they are many roaming around in our country. You cannot even talk about our own sisters getting married to them ZITSILU our sisters. If you are married with them why are not going and stay in their homes? Kwao akuthawako chiyani? Mbava zimenezo and that why South African people amaionera patali game Xnophobia attack.Many south africans are not educated but ozindikira kwambiri.

Law Abiding SAn
Law Abiding SAn
4 months ago
Reply to  Mphetetewira

You clearly are a confused soul. You don’t want illegal immigrants in Malawi but when South Africans say the same thing you are quick to call them xenophobes.

Do you know that there is a estimated 1 million Malawians in SA legal and illegal. Now Mr/Ms Highly Educated what should South Africa do about the illegal millions of immigrants in the country?

For the record I’m against attacks of any person.

Patrick Hdowe
Patrick Hdowe
4 months ago

I am a Zimbabwean and doing my business in town and if you talk of immigrants then we are many that we can take the whole Kamuzu Stadium. You always talk about goods having gone up and yet your own baby is silently killing his fellow Malawians and ife tikungowona-MULTICHOICE MALAWI. This translated to us that many Malawians simumayenda madziko azanu and see how Dstv is being paid. This time inu Namiwa come out and see the costing of Multichoice and many Malawians cannot afford Dstv in this country. They twisted from Dstv to Gotv and the government is just… Read more »

Zondeni
Zondeni
4 months ago

I was first impressed when you raised the issue of illegal immigrants but later
You have gone overboard and start showing your true colours that you have another cadetish agenda.

The Patriot
The Patriot
4 months ago

Let them demonstrate whether the cause is optical or not. We have seen this happening during DPP regime.. when Tonse was in opposition. Yeah let the incumbent have a feel or taste of their own medicine. Every time there is an issue basitu, to the streets.

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