Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Wednesday re-enacted its anti-freedom of expression stunts that it employed in 2011, leading to loss of 20 innocent lives, when they unleashed the party’s blood-thirsty cadres to scare away Malawians from staging nationwide anti-government demonstrations today.
On July 19, 2011, the DPP also paraded unruly panga-wielding youths in the streets of Blantyre City. The action by the party precipitated violence during anti-government demos held on July 20.
DPP Vice President for the South, George Chaponda, Regional Governor Charles Mchacha, Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi and former Cabinet minister, Brown Mpinganjira, addressed their supporters at Limbe Labour Office premises saying Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) do not have valid reasons to call for demonstrations.
“These demonstrations are baseless. President [Peter] Mutharika is the best Malawi can have. These CSOs are only trying to bring terror in the country and we will not allow that. You should not be afraid to come in town to do your businesses because we have enough youths in our camp to protect you,” Mchacha said.
But one of the leading organisers of the march, Gift Trapence, dismissed the assertions by the DPP gurus.
“To tell Malawians that the issues we are demanding are already being dealt with is a lie. Government simply wants to frustrate and deceive people so that they do not exercise their right. For us, we say Malawians who want accountability should go to the streets tomorrow [today] and demand answers,” Trapence said.
The activist also dismissed threats by the party leaders and vendors they paraded saying that the protests will be peaceful.
But four lawmakers who also attended the DPP meeting in Limbe yesterday, said the K4 billion has not been disbursed yet and that when time comes, the money will be channelled through district councils.
“Sometimes I don’t understand Malawians. We complain when we have tough leaders. Now that we have a cool professor as President, we are also complaining. The government is building schools and we are recruiting nurses and doctors. Talking of the rule of law, no journalist has been beaten or arrested in Malawi in the current DPP regime,” Dausi said.
Also present were traditional leaders Katuli, Jalasi, Nyambi and Chimwala from the Eastern Region.
The chiefs said ordinary people will suffer in the event that the demonstrations turn violent.
Mchacha also paraded some of the vendors who threatened to camp at the Kamuzu Upper Stadium where demonstrators are expected to converge before they start the march.
Meanwhile, police said they are ready to protect people’s lives and property during the demonstrations.
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