President Peter Mutharika has taunted the civil society organisations (CSOs) which organised nationwide anti-government protests on September 21 which he describe as a flop demonstration.
Mutharika said this on Monday on return from the United States of America where he had gone to attend the United Nations General Assembly last month.
He addresses reporters at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe where he said the demonstrated were counter-productive.
The President said he set up a dialogue committee to meet the CSO leaders on their concerns but wondered why they went to the streets on 21 September the day he left the country with what he called a low turnout of protestors.
“Let me take this advantage to say I sincerely missed the massive demonstrations of 90 people in Blantyre and 220 people in Zomba. This is a sign now that these misguided people should know that Malawi people want dialogue, not demonstrations or confrontation,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika said he is “very glad” that the September 21 demonstrations “flopped,” saying the CSOs have learnt a lesson to stop taking matters to the streets.
“This kind of attitude must stop, come to an end,” he said.
The Malawi leader called for unity, saying “let’s work together as one country instead of pulling each other apart.”
“What the country needs is dialogue and not demonstrations,” said Mutharika.
The CSOs have been giving Mutharika several ultimatums, asking him to step down or that he be impeached.
Some analysts have, however, told the CSOs to re-strategise in their actions and calls, saying some of their demands are not practical.
Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition (HRDC) –Gift Trapence, Timothy Mtambo, MacDonald Sembereka, Billy Mayaya and Beatrice Mateyo— who led the peaceful demonstration demanding an end to what they call “executive theft” and many social ills Malawians are facing, defended their demonstrations, saying it is a right not a priviledge and also enshrined in the Republican Constitution.
Sembereka said the demonstrations is not about numbers but the message.
He accused the President of intimidation but warned that they would return into the streets.
In their petition, the HRDC say they are worried with the worsening “DPP-led orchestrated executive thieving, corruption and impunity”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :