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Citizens take to streets in Lilongwe

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Demonstrators under the banner of Citizens Against Impunity and Corruption yesterday threatened to deal with anyone who will stand in their way in their quest to tame corruption in the country.

The group, led by lawyer Ayuba James and social media influencer Joshua Chisa Mbele, Friday held protest against Lilongwe District Commissioner Lawford Palani for denying them permission to hold demonstrations against Ashok Nair, a business agent of Zuineth Sattar, who is being accused of corruption, and also Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steven Kayuni.

The group had initially wanted to protest against Nair for dragging Anti- Corruption Bureau Director-General Martha Chizuma to court over a defamatory accusation as well as asking the DPP to grant Chizuma consent to prosecute Nair.

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James and Chisa Mbele said they would continue holding nationwide demonstrations in all cities and track down any suspected corrupt individuals.

“However, we have realised lately that the office of the DC was standing in the way of the people when citizens wanted to reach out to corruption suspects. The reasons were childish. It is a warning to his office because such would be deemed as waging a war against citizens,” James said.

The demonstrations began from Lilongwe Community Centre Ground via Bwalo la Njovu through Old Town Hall, passing through Maula Parish, up to Bishop Mackenzie Roundabout before reaching Lilongwe District Council.

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Business was disrupted in town as major shops were closed.

Before reaching the DC’s premises, there were pockets of violence as some demonstrators pelted stones at some closed shops as well as business premises around Game Stores Complex and Area 9, forcing the police to fire teargas.

After delivering their petition, DC for Lilongwe District Lawford Palani acknowledged receipt of the petition.

“We have the petition. I must appreciate that we have been holding discussions in my office, which signifies that this office is for Malawians. Whatever is in the letter has been received, we will see how to go about it,” he said.

Palani, however, had denied the group permission to hold their initial protest apparently because the matter was in court, a development that propelled the protests to target Palani.

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