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This is our last petition on tollgate, warns Bon Kalindo

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Gospel Kazako

Politician Bon Kalindo Friday gave government the ultimatum to review operations of tollgates by January 24 and meet all other demands in 10 days or President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima should resign.

Kalindo gave the ultimatum during demonstrations he led in Blantyre.

“This is our last petition. If they do not review operations of the toll gate at Chingeni we will close the tollgate because it is ours as Malawians,” he said.

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He wants a further reduction in the fees and that a payment should be valid for 24 hours instead of a motorist paying twice if one passes through the gates twice in the same day.

“We are also giving them five to 10 days on all other demands or President Chakwera and his vice Chilima should resign. If they do not resign we will engage another level,” he said.

Among key points in Kalindo’s petition is an end to what he calls selective justice in government’s move to grant amnesty to some individuals, arguing that if that happens, all corruption convicts should be released from prison.

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The petition also demands subsidies on essential commodities like sugar, cooking oil, fuel, candles, matches and others, reduction of water prices, delivery on the promised one million jobs and access to the National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef) loans and others.

Kalindo also demands availability of fertiliser at the promised price of K4,495.

Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said he does not see the purpose of these demonstrations, saying government already acknowledged the grievances raised and is working on them.

He said government already told Kalindo and others the things it could implement and what was not feasible.

He said the demonstrations are only depriving people of Malawi time to engage in productive activities.

“We are concerned as government because even Catholic bishops have spoken and when Catholic bishops speak, governments must listen. They have asked government to improve security of the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Martha Chizuma and to provide adequate resources to the ACB which we have done. While that is the case, other people say they want to close down offices of the ACB. Who should we listen to?” he said.

The demonstrations were peaceful throughout as protesters marched from Yannakis in Limbe, proceeding along the Masauko Chipembere Highway, into the Central Business District of Blantyre before delivering their petition to the government through office of the District Commissioner.

Kalindo hailed police officers who provided security Friday, saying they acted professionally.

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