Friday the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu were painted in red and black as Malawians came out in hordes of numbers and poured onto the streets with a summary of one key message: They are not happy with the direction this country is taking.
In a ten-point petition they delivered to government representatives at the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Blantyre City, Mzuzu City Council and Zomba City Council, the Malawians who braved the streets yesterday, spoke against the K4 billion scandal, rampant corruption, persistent power blackouts, unexplained deaths on the watch of the DPP government, rising unemployment, among other things.
There is nothing just cooked up or untruthful in the issues Malawians raised and so, in our view, there is just one course of action open to the DPP administration and it is to listen to the message and do something about it because the unbridled arrogance we have come to know about this government will not wash.
It is very clear that the DPP government did everything in the book to stop the demonstrations that included ministers holding countless press conferences, even in the process roping in gullible chiefs to help in changing the opinion of Malawians with a view to dissuade them from going to the streets.
All these efforts were capped by the intimidating antics displayed by DPP youth cadets on Thursday when they ridiculously held their own demonstrations against yesterday’s demonstrations.
Yet this did not make the patriotic sons and daughters of Malawi who braved the streets to move an inch.
They did not cringe with fear not even with the presence of the Army on the streets with the full knowledge that the men and women in uniform are there to serve and defend the interests of people of Malawi and not their political masters only.
And so from Blantyre to Zomba, Lilongwe to Mzuzu, Karonga to Rumphi; the protests went on in peace, save for a few skirmishes here and there.
Even though matters nearly went out of hand after the Police decided to block demonstrators in Lilongwe’s City Centre when they had but almost reached Capital Hill, it was refreshing to hear that sanity had prevailed and the protesters made their way to Capital Hill where they peacefully delivered their petition.
At the end of the day, the message that was driven across by the protesters is that people are fed up with politicians constantly paying a deaf ear to their cries on prolonged electricity blackouts, thriving corruption epitomised by the fleecing of public funds such as the K 4 billion largesse by the Minister of Finance and his Local Government counterpart, nepotism and appeasement when appointing people to public offices and sheer display of arrogance of the highest order by the DPP led administration.
The onus is now on this government to effectively and efficiently address the ten point concerns outlined in the petition that the protesters delivered in their respective regions.
What better way to cap it than to say that yesterday democracy won.
For those in government, Malawians have spoken and they await a matching response and action.
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