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Protesters clash with Police, 17 arrested

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Seventeen people are in police custody in Mzuzu following an altercation between the police and demonstrators in the aftermath of the peaceful protests staged in the city.

Northern Region police publicist Peter Kalaya has confirmed the arrest.

He says they have been charged with malicious damage and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

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Business was interrupted for eight hours in Mzuzu Friday when some of the protesters clashed with the Police on their way back to their respective homes.

The protesters were taking down Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) flags erected along the streets while some of them tore billboards bearing the face of State President Peter Mutharika who doubles as DPP leader.

The law enforcers had to throw teargas canisters to disperse the gathering, which retaliated by stoning them and their armoured vehicle, widely referred to as Chimbaula.

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However, leader of the organising committee Charles Kajoweka described those who tried to cause pandemonium as thugs who were sent to disrupt the peaceful demonstrations.

“You can agree with me that the original protesters did a peaceful demonstration and dispersed at Katoto Secondary School where they had gathered, which has already been commended by various people.

“Those disgruntled people were sent by DPP to prove their claims that demonstrations lead into violence. But we are happy that we are clean and people already knew their plan to disrupt the march on Thursday,” Kajoweka said.

But DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila said the violence was engineered by Malawi Congress Party – MCP, arguing this was the reason the party’s President Lazarus Chakwera had endorsed the demonstrations.

However, MCP already released press statement on Thursday accusing DPP of planning to dress their youth in MCP regalia and disrupt the protests.

Thousands of people, including notable politicians such as Petra president Kamuzu Chibambo, parliamentarian for Mzimba West Harry Mkandawire and Federal system of government activist Bina Shaba were among the marchers.

In an interview, Mkandawire said the huge patronage simply showed that Malawians are tired with the DPP led administration for its failure to address challenges people are facing.

The Mzuzu demonstrators presented their petition to Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Macloud Kadammanja.

Peaceful protests were also conducted In Rumphi and Karonga where the protesters presented their petitions at the district council offices.

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