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April 27 demonstrations not yet allowed in Blantyre

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NKASALA —They need to address a few issues

While this Friday’s nationwide protests appear on course in Lilongwe, Blantyre has not been cleared yet until the organisers address a few concerns raised by city authorities.

The protestors are set to demonstrate against government over the way the K4 billion payout to MPs was approved circumventing Parliament.

The protestors also want Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe and Local Government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa to resign from their cabinet positions.

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But Blantyre District Commissioner, Bennet Nkasala, said the protest cannot go ahead in Blantyre because the organisers have two outstanding issues which need to be resolved.

“Their notice of demonstrations does not have all necessary details which had to be provided. Again during the meeting we held, I did not grant them permission to use the Masauko Chipembere Highway because that is the responsibility of the Blantyre City Council. I told them to rework the notice and get the permission to use the road from BCC because my authority is in Blantyre rural,” he said.

Organisers of the demonstrations, however, insist that all preparations for the nationwide demonstration in all the spots are over.

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Timothy Mtambo, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, Executive Director, said they have been talking with police and other relevant stakeholders in all the spots.

He said all the routes which have been earlier communicated have been maintained adding for example that people in Blantyre will converge at the Kamuzu Upper Stadium before marching through Masauko Chipembere Highway to deliver their petition to Blantyre District Commissioner.

“Everything has been finalised. We have been talking to the police all the DC and the routes we proposed have been maintained. For example in Blantyre people will converge at Kamuzu upper Stadium. They will then march and deliver their petition to the District Commissioner,” said

Mtambo said the demonstrations appear to have been concentrated in Lilongwe because it is where there have been talks of who will receive the petition.

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