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Chakwera blocks CDEDI demos in Lilongwe

President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration through Lilongwe District Council has blocked Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from holding demonstrations in Lilongwe.

The peaceful demonstrations, which were scheduled for tomorrow on Thursday on March 7, aimed at forcing the Department Immigration to start printing passport and reduction of passport fees.

However, a letter in our custody signed by Lawford Palani, the District Commissioner (DC) for Lilongwe district, highlights concerns stemming from a security assessment conducted by the police.

The assessment suggests reasonable grounds for postponing the proposed demonstrations, particularly in light of recent incidents of fracas at Mbowe where some DPP members were attacked

The statement further notes that intelligence gathered by the police indicates an unfavorable environment for these demonstrations to proceed.

In an interview with MIJ Online Sylvester Namiwa, CEDEI executive director, asserts that the right to demonstrate and freedom of expression should not be curtailed on such grounds.

The fearless rights activist Namiwa added that the organization’s legal team is actively addressing the matter.

The Immigration Department stopped printing passports in January after losing access to its passport issuance system.

Published reports indicate that 90 percent of passport data has been lost but the department has rubbished the reports.

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services said it was doing everything within to recover the passport issuance system which reportedly got hacked.

The Department hoped to recover the system before the expiry of President Lazarus Chakwera’s 21-day ultimatum.

There are seven days to go for the department’s leadership to fix the passport mess or face the chop in line with Chakwera’s earlier warning.

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