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Demonstrations have dented Malawi’s image— Mutharika

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By Deogratias Mmana,

Malawi News Agency, New York, USA:

President Peter Mutharika has appealed to organisers of demonstrations that have been taking place in the country to stop them, arguing they have dented the country’s image and scared away some investors.

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Mutharika has since warned Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leaders Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence and Reverend MacDonald Sembereka and opposition Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM leader Saulos Chilima to put the interests of the country above their “selfish” political gains.

HRDC has been leading in the organisation of the demonstrations. Chakwera and Chilima, who are contesting results of the May 21 presidential race, have been participating in some of the demonstrations.

But Mtambo is on record as having said that the demonstrations would continue until Ansah resigns.

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Speaking Thursday at a news conference with Malawi media at the United Nations General Assembly (Unga), Mutharika said some investors were scared of coming to invest in Malawi because of the current situation which is characterised by violent demonstrations.

“I should appeal to those people who are engaged in this kind of nonsense that is going on in Malawi to stop. If they think that they are destroying Malawi and are hurting me by doing demonstrations, they are making a mistake. They are hurting their own country,” Mutharika said.

He added: “Malawi has got a very negative perception globally about peace in Malawi and whether investors would want to come to a country where people are destroying their own country through meaningless and useless demonstrations. So this is my message to all those people Mtambo, Gift Trapence, Sembereka, Chakwera and Chilima to stop.”

Mutharika said the image that the four have created globally is “the most negative since Malawi was created and one of the most negative in Africa at the moment”.

“We are really at the bottom because of the destruction that they are doing in Malawi. I think it is very important that they should stop this nonsense and think for once about Malawi and not their own selfish political ends,” Mutharika said.

He further said: “I want them to hear this that what they are doing is not in the interest of the country and that it should stop”.

Commenting on this year’s Unga, Mutharika said the session was successful and that Malawi would benefit from the participation as some investors showed interest to come.

One of the investors is New York business tycoon Thomas Barry, president and Chief Executive Officer for Zephyr Management who has shown interest to invest in community technical colleges.

The country has witnessed demonstrations after the May 21 tripartite elections facilitated by HRDC and the opposition, disputing presidential results. The organisers have been asking for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah, claiming that she mismanaged the elections.

The opposition brought the matter to court and the case is still ongoing.

Mutharika, who arrived in New York on September 19 for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, left the US on Friday September 27, 2019 for Malawi.

He is expected in Malawi today afternoon.

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