Malawi police headquarters in Lilongwe has directed all police officers to suspend their holidays and off days and be alert at all their duty stations.
In a memo, the police head-quarters tell commanding officers to ensure visibility of law enforcers everywhere.
The police has not said why there is such an order but a detective officer – name shielded – said this is in the wake of the April 27 2018 demonstrations civil society organisations (CSOs) are planning to hold peacefully.
On Thursday , the police Deputy Inspector General (operations) Duncan Mwapasa led a team of senior police officers to a meeting with CSO leaders to find ways of making the protests peaceful.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the cancellation of holiday for the cops was a normal practice in the police, saying there is nothing unusual.
Last time such a directive was issued was in July 2011 during the massive protests than nearly brought down the Bingu wa Mutharika government.
CSOs have organized the demonstrations, which the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and others are supporting, to
present their grievances to the government on various problems, including the decision by the government to splash out K27.8 million to each member of parliament, to force President Peter Mutharika rescind the appointment of Rodney Jose as new Inspector General of police and express concern over the ever increasing cost of life.
Meanwhile, some chiefs have told Malawians not to participate in the protests, saying the CSOs have no convincing reasons to take up to the streets.
Chiefs Lundu, Kawinga, Ngolongoliwa and others said this when they held a news conference in Blantyre on Thursday.
They claimed the CSOs have paid the protests K3, 000 each to participate in the demonstrations but one of the organisers of the protests Gift Trapence wondered why the CSOs should pay the demonstrators when the protesters are in persistent darkness due to power blackouts, one of the reasons for the protests.
The Muslims Association of Malawi and the Qudria Muslims Association of Malawi have also told their members not to participate in the protest matches.
Saiti Jambo of the Qudria Muslim Association of Malawi said the CSOs should give dialogue a chance.
The CSOs are demanding cancellation of disbursement of K4 billion fund for parliamentarians and the resignation of Cabinet ministers Goodall Gondwe (Finance, Economic Planning and Development) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development).
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :