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Nothing wrong with demonstrations — Lazarus Chakwera

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BRIEFING—Chakwera tours a pavilion at the festival

President Lazarus Chakwera has said there is nothing wrong with people demonstrating just as there is nothing wrong with anyone holding an opinion.

Chakwera, who was speaking at the inaugural Karonga-Chitipa cultural heritage festival in Karonga on Saturday, however said everyone is free to disagree with that opinion.

He then cautioned: “Beware of people who think their opinion is for the rest of the people.”

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He was speaking in reference to demonstrations which were held in Lilongwe on Friday where 33 people who include their leaders were arrested for allegedly inciting violence during the demonstrations.

“Just yesterday [Friday] there were a few hundred Malawians protesting in the capital, and they exercised their freedom to state peacefully and publicly their opinion about what is wrong with the country and how to fix it. There is nothing wrong with that.

“And there are 19 million other Malawians who have an opinion of their own who were not part of those demonstrations, and there is nothing wrong with that either.

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“Everyone is free to have an opinion and to express it peacefully and publicly, just as everyone else is free to disagree with that opinion. So, beware of those who shout their opinion loudly but try to silence others from shouting their opinion loudly,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Local government Blessings Chinsinga hailed Chakwera for his commitment in attending cultural events. He said this is a unifying factor.

Chinsinga said if the Malawi 2063 aspirations are to be attained easily, unity is paramount.

In his remarks host, Paramount Chief Kyungu asked Malawians to love one another. He said where there is love and peace, development flourishes.

Vice chairperson of the Karonga Chitipa cultural heritage festival Wantwa Mwahimba asked the government to consider introducing a special fund under the Ministry of Tourism to support cultural festivals.

During the ceremony, seven people were recognised with awards. They are late Dunduzu and Yatuta Kaluli Chisiza, late Prof. Legson Kayira, late Chipimpha Mughogho, late Lowland Ngosi, Clever Savenda Mpoha and Kinnah Phiri.

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