Malawi Police on Monday used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters holding peaceful demonstrations Mulanje Magistrate Court demanding the release if nine community members operating under the Citizens for the Protection of Mulanje Mountain (CPM)arrested Friday for blocking Blantyre Water Board (BWB) Likhubula Water Supply System Project officers from working.
BWB contracted India-based SMC Infrastructure Private Limited to undertake works for the project expected to pump water from Likhubula River in Mulunje to the commercial city.
The K17 billion water supply project President Peter Mutharika launched last November is expected to benefit people from Blantyre and surrounding districts, including Chiradzulu and Thyolo, apart from Mulanje residents.
But members of CPM, led by David Majeweta want the project to only be implemented if the abide by the Memorundum of Understand (MoU) which among other things they agreed to plant trees in a designated area.
The CPM blocked workers at their side on Friday prompting police to arrest nine suspects.
When they appeared before Mulanje Magistrate Court, they were formally charged of inciting violence and riot.
Mulanje first grade magistrate Start Maruwasa denied them bail.
However, some community members demanded the suspects’s release and there was chaos between community members and police.
Police has to use teargars to disperse the community members.
The case for the nine has been adjourned to February 19.