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National

Few turn up for Blantyre demos

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By Serah Makondetsa:

CALLING FOR ACTION— (left to right) Mayaya, Mtambo and Trapence

Close to 100 people in Blantyre Friday patronised the nationwide demonstrations organised by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in Blantyre.

The demonstrators, who were visibly outnumbered by police personnel, started marching from Kamuzu Upper Stadium via Independence arch to the Blantyre City Council.

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Dressed in black, white and red t-shirts written “operation chotsa mbava”, the demonstrators chanted songs castigating the current administration, saying President Peter Mutharika should step down.

Chairperson of HRDC in the Southern Region Masauko Thawe said the demonstrations were a follow up to the April 27 demonstrations which the CSOs claim government failed to address the demands that had been raised.

 “We are gathered here because of the many ills happening in our country. When we say operation chotsa mbava we literally mean the President must go because a lot has gone wrong in this country under his leadership.

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“We demand improved conditions in our health and education sector. There is so much that is happening at Escom. Nepotism is now a tired song because we see that in our government. We want Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC) to be for everyone and not just the ruling party,” he said.

Thawe said the grouping is not affected by the low turn-out, arguing the few that made the march fulfilled their right.

“We are happy with the turn out. It’s the duty of the police to offer security and they have done that. The people that came here came voluntarily and that’s what gives us hope. It was evident that the people who came here are very frustrated,” he said.

Among others, the CSOs are requesting government to give back the K4 billion which was disbursed to Members of Parliament and investigate the K145 million procurement scandal at the Malawi Police Service (MPS).

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