A political scientist has told civil society organisations to go ahead with their planned peaceful protests on September 7, saying they should not be intimidated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which he said has always been against demonstrations.
The CSOs said on Monday they have shifted the peaceful protests to September 21 after the DPP vowed to counter the September 7 demonstrations.
DPP regional governor for the south Charles Mchacha, who reigns terror with the party cadets by using violence, said the party will block the CSOs from holding their protests on September 7, saying the cadets have organized a Blue Day in Blantyre City on that day.
But Ernest Thindwa, who teaches political science at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, said the CSOs changing of the dates is not a solution.
“We all know that the DPP would do everything to frustrate peaceful protests. What if the DPP comes up with another event on September 21, will the CSOs keep on changing the dates? They should go ahead with the peaceful protests on September 7,” said Thindwa.
But Mtambo said the shift of the date has been done in the interest of peace, unity and cooperation.
“We know that what they did in Blantyre by conniving with the Blantyre Civic office to grant them permission to conduct what they are calling the Blue Day was a deliberate measure to bring violence. We will not allow them to propagate their strange and violent culture in Malawi,” he said.
But governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali said the shifting of dates by the CSOs even gives them more time to mobilise the masses for the demos.
“It also sends a clear message that CSOs would want to exercise their right to demonstration peacefully as provided by the Constitution,” Munthali said.
“For DPP it only vindicates the existing perception that they are a party that believes in violence, a scenario that does not reflect well n them especially in the context of the recent political violence that has characterised the country,” he added.
He said its sad that the country’s leadership has failed to discipline Mchacha who continue to practice savage and intimidating politics to suppress the voice of reason.
“In fact, by failing to discipline their regional governor, President Mutharika and the entire DPP leadershiphave demonstrated to be accomplice to all this,” he said.
DPP is now under intense pressure following the coming in of United Transformation Movement(UTM) led by vice president Saulos Chilima and other DPP breakaway officials who are now putting the DPP run for its money.
The UTM is now the making inroads even in the once DPP stronghold, the lhomwe belt of Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe and Chiradzulu.
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