Malawians hold anti-government protests against corruption

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Civil Society Organizations under the banner of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have held a series of protests across four cities in Malawi demanding government action on corruption.

Hundreds of placard bearing protesters took to the streets in the capital Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu city and Zomba city.

The Nation Online news outlet shared photos and videos of protesters in Lilongwe and Blantyre where the numbers are sizeable.

According to the portal, issues being raised in the demonstrations are principally: government’s failure to address worsening corruption in the country and theft of 4.2 million liters of fuel at Eskom, the country’s electricity supply commission.

Today’s protests are a follow up to similar incidents in April this year when the CSOs gave President Mutharika 90-days to act on a 10-point petition they presented to government.

Reports indicate that even though the Lilongwe team planned to submit their petition to the president it was likely to be received by other than him.

Attempts earlier this week by government to hold dialogue with CSOs failed because they refused to meet ‘junior’ government officers.

The CSOs had demanded to face Mutharika, his Ministers and heads of some parastatals in the dialogue, but Capitol Hill (the presidency) refused.

Malawians head to the polls in 2019 with corruption being a top campaign issue, incumbent Peter Mutharika is seeking a second and final term.

His stiffest opponent will be former president Joyce Banda who returned from a long exile this year and has been elected to represent her party.

Hauwa Mustapha