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Undecorated roundabouts on Independence Day

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By Serah Makondetsa:

MKAKA— I do not think
this is the kind of change we wanted

This year’s Independence Day might have come at a precarious time, with city roundabouts devoid of disco lights and other ornaments, bearing witness that Malawi is passing through an unfavourable conditions.

Before main celebrations marking the day being held at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre today, people have been holding demonstrations and vigils which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba cities as well as some districts in the country.

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HRDC is demanding the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, over management of the May 21 Tripartite Elections’ results.

Ansah has put her foot down, saying those who are calling for her head are hell bent at promoting “mob justice”.

She maintains that she did everything as prescribed by electoral laws.

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Poisoned by such events, officials from the Department of Public Events, which is under

the Ministry of Information, failed to decorate roundabouts in the cities, including at Chichiri Roundabout, a stone-throw from Kamuzu Stadium.

Our visits to main roundabouts in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba revealed that there were no decorations, as of 6pm yesterday.

Meanwhile, as Malawians celebrate 55 years of independence, stakeholders have argued that the country is retrogressing.

Malawi Congress Party secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, said the country is not supposed to celebrate the day but, rather, cry because it is retrogressing.

“Malawians wanted change in 1994 and I do not think this is the kind of change we wanted. It does not make sense to me; it does not make sense to anyone to be celebrating,” he said.

UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said the country was not making strides, citing poor infrastructure.

“We are retrogressing, a very good example being quality of public infrastructure. Instead of improving the quality, we are taking steps backward. A good example is that of Bwanje Dam, which has just been commissioned. If you compare it with Kamuzu Dam, you can see the difference. In fact, we are living in the 1920s,” he said.

However, United Democratic Front spokesperson, Ken Ndanga, said the country was progressing slowly.

“We are moving forward but at a very slow pace,” he said.

However, Information Minister Mark Botomani earlier in the week said development partners and Malawians were impressed with development projects under the Peter Mutharika administration.

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