President, ministers not available for dialogue meeting: CSOs say ‘talk-show’ with juniors not worth

The demand by civil society organisations (CSOs) who are planning anti-government nationwide protests to have  President Peter Mutharika and some of his Cabinet ministers attend a dialogue  meeting on outstanding issues on Wednesday afternoon will not me met, a presidential aide has said as the activist threaten not to pull out.

CSOs demand President, ministers to attend meeting and the media presence

Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) asked organisers of the Friday protests to a dialogue meeting on Tuesday but Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo asked for the meeting to be shifted to Wednesday afternoon and that set conditions among them that the activists will only attend the meeting at Capital Hill if President Peter Mutharika or relevant line ministers commit to be in the meeting.

However, presidential adviser on CSOs, Mavuto Bamusi said to expect President Mutharika and ministers to attend the meeting government initiated to open dialogue is “expecting too much.”

But HRDC chair Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence have remained adamant that if their demands are not met to have President Mutharika attend or line ministers to represent him, they will not be worth attending the meeting.

Trapence said the activists have set their demands and parameters for the meeting including that the meeting should also be open to the media.

“Given the gravity of the issues, they require high level responses from key policy and decision makers,” said Trapence.

Trapence said the CSOs do not want a “talk-show” with lower level officers.

But Minister of Information and government spokesman Nicholous Dausi has said government has assembled a high-level delegation of technocrats for the dialogue process.

“This being a technical dialogue process, the CSOs are assured that government has put together a high-level team of senior government officials that are more than capable to engage the CSOs in a fruitful dialogue,” Dausi said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.

“Government is ready to collectively discuss with the CSOs during the early moments of the dialogue meeting the specific rules of engagement. These include the best approach for interfacing with the media, so that the dialogue operates on collectively generated terms that will create a conducive environment for a sustained dialogue process,” he added.

CSOs are planning to hold anti-government protests on Friday which the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Vice-President Saulos Chilima have endorsed.

The demonstrations, whose theme is Restoring Our Destiny, are a follow-up to HRDC’s April 27 10-point petition against poor governance which the group claims government did not fully address.

Among issues to be raised in the demonstrations are government’s failure to address worsening corruption in the country and theft of fuel worth K 1.9 billion at Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom).

They will also demand the resignation of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba, and immediate suspension of the contract for the supply of gensets.

The HRDC cancelled the protests from September 7 2018 to September 21 to avoid clashes with governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets who were expected to hold what they called a Blue March in Blantyre on the same day, but did not eventually do it.

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Unoka
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Unoka

My first question is, why is our government asking for a round table discussion now? Upon recent demos by CSOs, they did submit a petition to government outlining key issues that need to be addressed, some on short , medium or long term basis. In my opinion, that was the right time for government to ask CSOs for a collective dialogue. I strongly feel that holding a dialogue now is just cosmetic on the part of government.. To CSOs, my humble advice is, please be realistic and objective enough with your recommendations. Put yourself in the shoes of government. For… Read more »

Nzika ya Malawi
Guest
Nzika ya Malawi

Headless Pumbwa wathawaaaaaaa! Kkkkkkkkk!

zikomo
Guest
zikomo

you can not discuss with thieves …for what? tiyeni tikayende basi…Mabvuto bamusi unayamba bwino uli ku mabungwe koma pano sorry my friend tamuona mzako Kubalasa sanacheukire uku ndi uku wapita suzamumpezazo……

Duli
Guest
Duli

Real NGO impunity. What should these thug looking and clandestinely funded and sponsor-spoled brats. Let them go to hell and roast. I as a Malawian and many more millions of Malawians have not sent you.

mtete
Guest
mtete

This is what will happen: The so-called high level government technocrats will cheat you they will report to some ministers who will brief the president who will study the recommendations before making a decision which will be communicated to some ministers who will brief the CSOs. The whole process will go on for over a year which will be election time.

In the light of the above, there is no need to go to the meeting if the president and Ministers won’t attend. What we want are decisions there and then. Anything else, no ways. Please don’t disappoint your supporters.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

toothless CSOs kikikikiki

UTM
Guest
UTM

Dausi does not even know the role of technocrats. Nde mwati pumbwa wamusiyira Dausi boma.kkkkk

Muswahili Mambo Sana
Guest

No time for fooling Malawians anymore, go on CSOs , the government fooled PAC at first, this should not happen the same with you CSos again like they did with PAC.

mbuje
Guest
mbuje

Kodi who do these thugs masquerading as CSOs take themselves to be? Akufuna chani kweni kweni? The President should not be attending to the demands of these jobless attention seeking idiots. Let them demonstrate everyday until election day.

Dimingu
Guest
Dimingu

Tiyeni navo Timothy and Trapece

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