Mutharika rebuffs CSOs, Chakwera joins peaceful demo:  Petitioners say time to rid Malawi of ‘executive thieves’

President Peter Mutharika on Friday rebuffed the civil society organisations (CSOs) to personally receive a petition from them after nationwide anti-government protests of the social, economic and governance ills Malawians are facing.

The demos in Mzuzu largely patronised by youths

Akuba Toto! Protestors singing in Mzuzu

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera joined the demo in Lilongwe. Seen here addressing the demonstrators

Mtambo speaking after petition is delivered

Zomba City demonstrators march

Protestors also question how 4.2 million litres at Escom for the gensets got stolen

The protestors in the streets

Demo day

DPP members in Mzuzu were cleaning the markets

High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire in an order given to the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC)   ruled that President Mutharika should personally receive the petition.

But Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara said President Mutharika was preparing to leave the country as scheduled for New York to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (Unga).

Instead the Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moza Zeleza received the petition at Capital Hill on behalf of the President after midday.

Leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera who endorsed the CSOs cause, joined the protestors in Lilongwe clad in a red t-shirt.

Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, said he was in agreement to concerns raised by the petitioners on issues such as deterioration of basic services like blackouts, high rate of unemployment and the general decay of the state of governance.

“Come May 21 2019 Malawians have a golden opportunity to change leadership through the power of the ballot,” said Chakwera.

In their petition seen by Nyasa Times, the CSOs accused President Mutharika for not coming to  face them at a dialogue meeting and not receiving the petition.

“As Civil Society and all Malawians of goodwill, we are at pains to learn that a servant can have the audacity to refuse to meet his employers in order to account for how he was using the powers to govern on their behalf,” it reads in part.

The CSOs said they view the recent developments as “signs of lack of servant leadership”, but also a clear expression of “continued executive arrogance” where the President feels “too executive and important to be approached by heavily taxed ordinary Malawians.”

It reads: “You seem to be a leader who has unfortunately lost touch with reality on the ground, and as such Malawians have every right to conclude that you take them for granted.”

Organisers of the demonstrations have issued assessment of a 10-point petition in which the HRDC demanded that President Mutharika should cancel the appointment of Rodney Jose as Inspector General of Police and wanted the Electoral Reforms Bills to be re-tabled in Parliament in their original form as recommended by the Law Commission, saying since the April 27 petition there has been inaction .

They have also noted inaction on demands for the cancellation of the K4 billion payout to parliamentarians, resignations or firing of Cabinet ministers Goodall Gondwe (Finance and Economic Planning) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development) for their role in the payout, and for the Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate the payout.

The demonstrations held under the  theme ‘Restoring our Destiny’, are a follow up to HRDC’s April 27 ten-point petition against poor governance which the group claims government did not fully address.

The CSOs, among other issues, demanded government to address worsening corruption in the country and theft of fuel worth K 1.9 billion at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has also been challenged to free taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.

In the fresh petition, the CSOs said they are concerned with the “sad reality” that many prominent cases bordering on corruption in DPP government are not being investigated and that suspected culprits are not being prosecuted.

It cited remarks by  Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Reyneck Matemba  recently that all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) citizenry are rotten with stinking corruption.

CSOs have also raised concerns on nepotism and highlighted in their petition that a big majority of Presidential appointees in senior government positions are restricted to people from Mutharika’s Lhomwe tribe and mentioned names of the public officers, accusing Mutharika  of “implementing the Lomwelisation project in Malawi.”

The activists also said government has failed to achieve substantial progress in job creation, its few efforts in form of provision of youth loans are politicised and only serve to benefit those connected to the ruling party.

“The recent introduction of the government internship programme is not a lasting solution to the challenge of youth unemployment as internships are not full time jobs. We demand your government to come up with practical solutions that will keep the youths in gainful and permanent employment and in- come generating ventures – steps that are sustainable,” reads the petition.

In the petition, the CSOs said the DPP government has lost the legitimacy to govern and as such Malawians have the powers to decide whether to remove it from office or not.

They  urged Malawians to  ensure that “executive thieves are booted out of power.”

The HRDC said the 2019 Tripartite elections provide “an opportunity” to Malawians to restore their destiny by implementing the “Operation Chotsa Mbava approach in order to rid the nation of executive thieves.”

Concludes the petition; “Posterity will judge us harshly if we continue to elect thieves into political or public office. This is not the time to massage thieves!”

In Mzuzu, protesters refused  to leave the High Court Roundabout asking why police and City Council allowed DPP in the City to clean markets on the day of the march.

Mzuzu CEO McLoud Kadammanja  told CSOs that his office didn’t authorize DPP to have an activity in Mzuzu.  Police then ordered the  DPP members  to leave the City’s streets and protesters agreed to proceed to the Civic offices to deliver a petition.

HRDC chair North Happy Mhango delivered the  petition to Kadammanja.

Demonstrators in Blantyre delivered their petition to Blantyre City Council (BCC) through Director of administration Lytton Nkata who received the petition on behalf of the Cheif Executive Officer and he promised to deliver the petition to relevant authorities.

In Zomba protests were also held peacefully and a petition was delivered at the City civic offices.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Munthuyu mukansiya chonchi atipha tonse a Malawi. 71% of Malawians are already languishing in poverty and to make things worse they don’t even know it.

Poverty
Guest
Poverty

It’s difficult for people to know that they are poor because the only environment they have lived in is surrounded by poverty. No wonder it’s difficult for us to believe that we can live better lives. DPP has let Malawians down.

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

Now we have seen that some people are Only Good at Talking.Ziko lonse linamva iyeyu atolonjeza kuti Akakhale Nao Ku Mseu.Ichi chakoma ichi cha koma Fisi Anagwa Chagada.Wekha ku boma wekhaso Ku Opposition.

Operation Nchotsa Mbavas
Guest
Operation Nchotsa Mbavas

This arrogance from APM is a clear indication that him and his DPP are going to rig again and win the polls hence he couldn’t care less about the citizens problems or about the outcry from people all over. And what have this second demonstration yielded? Absolutely nothing. Even if we do third or fourth…. it will make no difference to the executive thieves. Until we don’t bring this country to standstill nothing is going to work. Instead of going to streets we might as well boycott entire government system. Even the private and corporate sector will feel the pinch,… Read more »

Shitholes Diarrhoea Progressive Party
Guest

Chilima is a hypocrite. He supported demos at a rally but never showed up. This Chilima is a coward who was hiding behind his Catholic Church. He has no heart for Malawians. He is not a leader at all.

Kunena Mosapsyatila.
Guest
Kunena Mosapsyatila.

Reading some comments here castigating Chakwera makes me feel that cadets have been deployed to write the useless comments and vote them up. Koma mufune or musafune nthawi ya mbava izi yatha!!!! Ndipo ndinaziwa kale kuti mwano uli ndi bububu uyu, amene amangonyambita milomo ngati nanchidwe kaya titi chule; sangapite kukalandira petition. Ndeno mudzamuonere akamapanga address UNGA, madzi pambali uku akungonyambitira milomo. Zonena zake za ziiiii. Azungu ndikumatiseka kuti komanso dziko ili amati Malawi anthu ndi ogona kwabasi. Uyu nkukhala President? Let me tell you blinded cadets. Our Moya is going to be the second to present a speech at… Read more »

Heavyduty
Guest
Heavyduty

Kikikikiki the judgement from court was/is not only laughable but “bullshit” no wonder it was not respected. Where in the constitution adalemba kuti a President azilandira ma petition a ma CSO/Demos? As far as am aware constitution imapereka mphamvu and freedom for people to demostrate koma koma sindinaveko kuti amati mapetition azilandira ndi a president. This sounds more like “toilet jokes” People anywhere do not respect laws or a court orders that they know to be defective. Even ma contracts, they become invalid if they (contract) contain serious errors. Inu a ma Judge, don’t bring shame to our justice system… Read more »

Ntengo wa Kesia
Guest
Ntengo wa Kesia

As usual, oChakwera is lacking in political calculus: as much as Party leaders have individual rights, they resist in participating in demonstrations that are clearly political and against the opposite Party. This tactic will come back to haunt him, one day. No Leadership qualities here. Aaaah.

mediaz
Guest
mediaz

Chakwera is a Malawian nobody can block him from attending to any demo he uses his freedom.MCP bomaaaaaaa!!!!

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

Macadet mwatoyamba kumvekano mukulimba mtima chifukwa cha kubwera kwa UTM .Motoona ngati UTM izachepesa mavoti a Chakwera ndie mwaupondatu.Wamphwa mtima ndi Chakwera ndi Wa Cashgate.

Malawi
Guest
Malawi

Thanks Dr Chakwera for standing with the people of Malawi. You deserve 17 Million votes. May God Usher you to that No 1 job.

More From Nyasatimes