Some civil society organisations (CSOs) are holding nationwide demonstrations this Friday, April 27 in protest against what they consider lack of transparency and accountability in government and they will present a 10-point petition to the presidency.
Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo, chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Forum, said the organisers will set deadlines for the issues in the petition and return to the streets if they are not addressed.
The CSO’s have assured that they will conduct the protests in peaceful manner.
Through the demonstrations, the CSOs want to push for the cancellation of disbursement of the K4 billion fund and that Cabinet ministers Goodall Gondwe (Finance, Economic Planning and Development) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development) resign or be fired for their roles in the scam.
The CSOs argue that the K4 billion allocation is illegal and not in the best interest of Malawians, hence the need to immediately cancel it.
Besides, the protests will also be held over continued blackouts and government’s K45.2 billion bailout to State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) without seeking parliamentary approval in 2017.
On continued blackouts, the CSOs feel Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) have failed to effectively supply electricity amid purchasing and hiring of generators.
Other CSOs demands include an appeal to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate the K4 billion fund and its linkage to the rejection of Electoral Reforms Bills in Parliament last December; tabling and passing of the Electoral Reforms Bills, including 50+1 electoral system of electing the President in their original form as proposed by the Law Commission and reversal of the appointment of Rodney Jose as acting Inspector General (IG) of Police. The CSOs also demand action on killings of people with albinism.
In Blantyre, the CSOs said the marchers will converge at the Kamuzu Stadium upper ground from where they will march through Masauko Chipembere Highway to Blantyre District Commissioner (DC) offices in the Government Office Complex opposite Blantyre Sports Club through Glyn Jones Road and Victoria Avenue.
In Lilongwe, the march is set to start from Winners’ Chapel through Kamuzu Central Hospital Roundabout and City Centre Roundabout to the Office of the President and Cabinet at Capital Hill.
In Zomba, the protesters will start from Zomba Community ground to the DC’s office. The organisers said surrounding communities from Machinga and Mangochi are also expected to join the march in Zomba.
During similar anti-government demonstrations on July 20 2011, 20 unarmed civilians were killed by MPS officers. Organisers of tomorrow’s protests have accused government of moving to instil fear among citizens by making reference to the 2011 protests under former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :