At least seven Americans resident in Malawi had a peaceful protest as the convoy of the US First Lady Melania Trump passed by at Area 30 in the capital city Lilongwe.
Mrs Trump was coming from Kamuzu International Airport to Kamuzu Palace during her five hours charity trip to Malawi.
The protestors who lined up on the M1 road near police headquarters at Area 30 carried hoisted placards which had messages critical on the impact of the US president Donald Trump’s decision to cut health care funding to Africa in general and Malawi in particular.
Spokesperson for the protestors, Rachael Pope, said the Americans living in Malawi had a “take-home” message for US First Lady.
Pope said health care cuts to Malawi will have severe negative impact on women and children.
“Our message is that Melania Trump should return home to persuade President Trump to reverse the serious budget cuts his administration has proposed concerning poor countries like Malawi.
“We see, first hand, in Malawian hospitals, the shocking effect the budget cuts may ultimately have. Up to 28 000 maternal deaths in this country can be prevented and thousands of children, women and HIV and Aids patients could be saved from death if, for example, the Pepfar [President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief] funding could not be reduced,” said Pope.
Trump ordered the health care cuts in reproductive health, especially to do with abortions, arguing that abortions are unchristian.
The Pepfar established bu former president George W. Bush in 2003 has invested nearly $700 million (about K502 billion) in Malawi towards supporting the HIV and Aids response
The convoy of the US First Lady however passed by without any incident and Mrs Trump might have seen the protests.
Meanwhile, University of Livingstonia based political analyst George Phiri has commended the US citizens for the demonstration, saying they have the right to do so.
“These could be USA citizens whose grievances are not heard at all on matters of national importance in their own country. They are simply taking advantage of their First Lady’s high profile visit in Malawi to speak out so that the media here takes their message along as well,” he said.
However, Phiri said the protesters could have done better, observing that the timing of their actions did not tally with the work the US first lady came to do in the country.
Trump left the country after five-hours visit and headed to Kenya and she will also visit Egypt having visited Ghana.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :