Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Times has criticised human rights activist Billy Mayaya for “disrespectfully” cancelling the much publicised maize scarcity peaceful protests “just hours before staging it today.”
Mayaya planned endless vigil against President Peter Mutharika from allegedly being insensitive to maize shortage and economic problems but on Tuesday announced the protests will not take place.
“While we appreciate that Mayaya has a right to his opinion, we find it disrespectful of him to expect Malawians to dance to his whims,” the editorial reads.
Observers say Mayaya has been influenced by other quarters to cancel the demonstration, fuelling rumours that he has been “palm oiled”.
But Mayaya denied that government can influence him.
“You know my reputation, I cannot sink so low,” said Mayaya.
He said all he needed was to verify maize availability in the Admarc deports and he is satisfied the situation is improving, saying he will still engage government “in dialogue.”
But the newspaper pointed out that Mayaya’s credibility “becomes questionable.”
The editorial reads: “We have every reason not to take Mayaya serious next time when he organises another protest if his assessment of the situation is not based on sound footing.”
The paper also questioned the funding of Mayaya’s national tour of his “misplaced assessment” on maize situation.
Mayaya said he used his own resources.
The paper, though, stated that Malawians are now more knowledgeable and critical than they were a year ago.
“No one should be under the illusion that they can stand on the shoulders of poor Malawians to attract attention for personal gains,” concluded the paper as Nyasa Times can’t agree more.
Malawians continue to face severe hardships, with some citizens having to sleep in long queues in order to buy maize from Admarc.
Opposition parties recently shared their opinions on the issue, giving President Mutharika an ultimatum to improve the ailing economy within 90 days or hand in his resignation.
Pressure seems to be mounting daily against Mutharika, with citizens calling for a speedy remedy to the country’s economic ills.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :