CSOs cancel demonstrations


A group of concerned citizens, that announced a nationwide demonstration over shortage of maize in the country, has failed to justify the cancellation of the demonstration that was scheduled to take place on Thursday.

Some quarters believe the organisers have been influenced by other powers to cancel the planned demonstration.

Human rights activist, Billy Mayaya, who was one of the leaders of the demonstrations, Wednesday said he cannot be influenced by any person.


“You know my reputation, I can’t sink so low. All I needed was to verify availability of maize in the country. Do you think government can influence me? I have my own resources. I cannot be involved in any underhand activity. I organise all the demonstrations and press conferences, using my own resources,” Mayaya said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mayaya – who was not accompanied by the other concerned Malawians — told the media they decided to cancel the demonstrations after ‘authorities’ advised them not to go ahead with the demonstrations.

“We planned to have nationwide demonstrations on 10 March [today]. However, we received communication from authorities yesterday [Tuesday] that the demonstrations should not take place. In the absence of the demonstrations, we will continue to engage with government so that we press for solutions,” Mayaya said.


Efforts to verify what Mayaya said proved futile as National Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa could not be reached on his mobile phone. His Deputy Thomeck Nyaude referred the matter to Central Region police.

The region’s spokesperson Ramsey Mushani asked for more time to check with his superiors at the region.

During yesterday’s press conference, Mayaya said he embarked on an exercise to check availability of maize in the country.

“The main purpose of the demonstration was in reaction to food situation in the country. The visits to Admarc markets showed that there is maize in those markets although [it is] in very limited quantities. We, therefore, urge Admarc to improve on logistics and we will continue monitoring the progress,” said Mayaya.

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