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Demos await…it is a must for a petition to be delivered directly to him

By Iommie Chiwalo

State Residences, here we come!

The consortium of Human Rights activists under Action Against Impunity (API) has announced the postponement of ‘Chakwera Alandire Chikalata’ peaceful demonstrations which were slated for tomorrow, 18th August, 2022.

In a statement seen by this reporter, the development has been arrived at after observing that previous petitions never reached the presidency based on the fact that President Lazarus Chakwera has never responded to the raised concerns.
Currently president Chakwera has travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to handover SADC Chairmanship.

In a statement signed by Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, Gomezgani Nkhoma of Mzuzu Youth Caucus, Rights activists Rodney Salamu, Mundango Nyirenda, Wells Khama, Zainab Hassan, Steven Chimwaza and Richard Mphepo says it will not make sense to hold the protests in the absence of president Chakwera.

“The postponement has come about for the simple reason that, as the description of the protests says, ‘Chakwera Alandire Chikalata’ it is the wish of API to hand deliver the petition to President Chakwera, therefore, proceeding with the demonstrations in the absence of the President will not make sense,” reads the statement.

And it has notified all stakeholders that fresh dates for the peaceful demonstrations will be announced once the President returns from his trip.

In the first notification of intended demonstrations, the activists observed that since the delivery of the first petition to Dr. Chakwera in December 2020, there has been total silence from the State House, and neither has there been any response from the OPC) and the conduct has prompted the API to conclude that the DCs and the CEOs do not forward such petitions to the President for his attention and action.

Few days ago the activists went further warning Chakwera against the current evident undesirable levels of executive arrogance and impunity.

They gave example of grievances contained in the numerous petitions that have so far been delivered to office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) through the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for the city councils, and the District Commissioners (DCs) for the district councils across the country.

“It is sad to note that the Chakwera administration has handled such petitions with contempt, in spite of his pledge to Malawians for servant leadership style,” reads the previous joint statement in part.

The demonstrations, among many other things, were aimed at forcing President Lazarus Chakwera to deliver on his flagship campaign promises, starting with the scrapping off of presidential immunity and cushioning the vulnerable and the marginalized people in society from the skyrocketing cost of living mirrored through the ever increasing prices of basic needs such as maize, fuel, cooking oil, bread, sugar and the collapsing economy.

More Malawians are expressing displeasure with the current leadership style especially on the fact that it is not siding with citizens.

Meanwhile, the activists have warned political and public officers to always desist from any temptation of taking Malawians for granted saying that are in the positions they hold on trust of the masses, hence, they should behave and act accordingly.

API gives this free piece of advice after noting with dismay that in the course of preparing the demonstrations it has put on hold until the President is back in the country, some DCs acted funny by turning themselves into operatives of the major player of Tonse Alliance administration, namely the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

“Needless to remind all public servants that ruling parties come and go, but Malawians are always there, hence it is a no brainer for the DCs to turn themselves into bootlickers of those in the who are trying in vain to take away Malawians’ constitutional right to hold peaceful demonstrations,” reads the statement.

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