A group calling itself ‘Liberation Movement’ has vowed to stage mass protests in Malawi to the country’s mounting economic crisis.
“We will stage mass protests in the streets of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu. We want to make a statement against poverty, against worsening corruption in government, against electricity blackout, against government’s muzzling of independent media, against the failed state,” a statement issued by the Liberation Movement made available to Nyasa Times reads.
The movement says it has the backing of the clergy, academicians, economists, the media, legal fraternity and civil society.
The Liberation Movement (LM) said corruption has been institutionalised in the DPP regime.
“There is a latent warrant of arrest obtained from the Chief Resident Magistrate involving a high ranking official of the DPP Mr. Richard Makondi and a Malawian of Asian origin Mr. Muhammed involving millions of kwachas, but the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is failing to process this warrant because Mr. Richard Makondi is a friend of the ACB Director, Mr. Lucas Kondowe and a National Organizing Secretary of the DPP,” the LM statement said.
“These are straight-forward cases of corruption and fraud involving DPP cadres in high positions that this government is failing to pursue. For example; Mr. Hiwa, Chief Executive Office of Roads Fund who awarded himself a lucrative contract; Mr. Hausi, Director of Finance at MERA for diverting MK3 billion to ADMARC without authority. In a sudden turn of events, Mr. Ishmael Chioko, a cash gate suspect is acting as Chief Executive Officer of MERA; Mr. Bwanali of Blantyre Water Board is only seeing out his contract with a case of corruption and abuse of EU Funds; Dr. Chauluka, CEO of TEVETA has been involved in embezzlement of several millions of Malawi kwacha but because he is Lomwe and a DPP cadre nothing has happened to him.”
The movement also lamented the country’s economic crisis as a result of misgoverning and lack of love and attention from a government which has totally abandoned its functions.
It said they will also march against electicity blackouts. Malawians are currently experiencing one of the worst load shedding schedules as utility provider Escom is rationing power to industries and homes.
The movement also condemened President Mutharika for his attempts to muzzle the independent media.
Mutharika recently described the media as disgusting, saying it peddled nonsense and garbage after reporting about his health.
“We will march against the intimidation of journalists. We are saying to the people of Malawi, we’re taking the struggle for democratisation, the struggle against emerging dictatorship to the streets, ” reads the statement.
Private media groups have since threatened to stop reporting news about President Mutharika and his cabinet ministers if he continues to “intimidate” journalists.
Meanwhile, Transformation Alliance (TA), a newly formed political pressure group, has said the media decision to effect a blackout coverage on the President and his government is not strange.
“We have noted with discontent the executive arrogance displayed by the President and his government even on pertinent issues demanding his sober response. The glaring gaps in information management and dissemination by the current administration leaves it more exposed to criticism and investigations since responsible citizens want a transparent and accountable government especially when public officers are riding on our taxes.
“It is naive and insensitive for any sane leader and sensible government to expect the media to shut up and abandon its watchdog role when powers that be become more powerful and start governing the nation as a personal estate,” TA spokesperson Leonard Chimbanga said in a statement.
Chimbanga said President Mutharika and his information handlers continue “goofing without any sign of coming back to their senses.”
“We don’t want an administration that wantonly takes away the media gains registered so far,” the statement reads.
Alliance says it does not condone unprofessional reporting and careless conduct by the media merely to harm the reputation of innocent individuals but there are clearly set procedures any aggrieved party can take to have their concerns addressed unlike opting to public outbursts that simply aggravate the situation.
Nonetheless, Chimbanga said the media remains “a trusted whistle blower standing” and cautioned Mutharika and his government to stop making statements and innuendos against media personalities and stations that have potential to endanger their lives and existence.
The Alliance was formed in August this year with a voice that Malawi urgently needs a complete overhaul of its political system to resolve prevailing political and socioeconomic challenges.
Its interim chairperson Moses Kunkuyu was the first Cabinet minister to be appointed by former president Joyce Banda when she assumed power in April 2012 after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika. He served as government spokesman under Banda rule.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :