Mzuzu CSOs Against September 7 Demos

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Mzuzu City say they are not in support of fellow CSOs’ plan to hold nationwide demonstrations slated for September 7, 2018 arguing that the demos have no basis and may fuel political violence.

The CSOs, Christian Justice International (CJI) and Power of Peace Network, said Monday during a media briefing at Mimosa Court Hotel in the city that the demonstrations are ill-timed and organized to serve political interests of some CSO leaders.

CJI’s president Amos Chuma said much as they agree that government needs to be taken to task on
some areas, the demonstrations may fuel political tension already manifesting in some parts of the
country.

“The demonstrations are ill-timed because elections are near.

“We have already seen violent clashes between some political parties and to call for all of them to the
streets is like calling them to a battle field,” he said.

Chuma further said the CSOs will not participate in the demonstrations because they feel the strategy is
not yielding results.

“This is not the first time CSOs have petitioned government; we did this in 2011, and some of those issues have
been addressed despite lives being lost during the exercise.

“This should tell you that the strategy is not working; however, we have not been able to sit down as the CSO
family to explore other strategies,” he said.

Power of Peace Network’s Kenner Mlowoka said CSOs are supposed to lead activities that will promote
peace, justice and development among Malawians, a development he said the September 7 demos do
not address.

“Our responsibility is to make sure that in our decisions, we do not put Malawians in problems.

“However, I must say here that the decision does not represent views of all CSOs because some of us
were not consulted on the decision,” Mlowoka said.

He further argued that there are more important pressing issues at the moment that the CSOs can engage in “Instead of concentrating on these ill-timed demos.”

“We should not just be vibrant in taking government to task and be silent when government needs a
helping hand,” he said.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), a grouping of CSOs in the country is organising peaceful
protests after expressing reservations with the executive’s response to its 10-point petition delivered
during the April 27, 2018 demonstrations.

HRDC Northern Chairperson Happy Mhango said the CSOs against the demos are not part of the
coalition and they have every right not to join the call.
By Rose Mahorya/ mana

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