Rights group Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) in conjunction with small scale business operators has shifted Blantyre demonstrations to next week, with a warning to Blantyre City Council.
Initially, the grouping was supposed to lead Malawians to peaceful demonstrations in Blantyre which was slated for Friday, January 8 but failed as the Blantyre City Council failed to give the two groups a consent.
According to CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, when approached the council told them that they will be called for planning meeting however this did not happen until Wednesday when they were told that the council CEO left his office for other duties in Lilongwe.
The development has since forced the two organizing groups to shift the protest to next week Wednesday, 13th January claiming that they respect laws and that they could not proceed without a consent from the council a development which they said has irked them.
Namiwa said the council has deliberately foiled the demonstrations a thing which he said should not be tolerated in a democratic country like Malawi and has warned that this should not happen again.
“Yes, we are here to announce that come rain come sunshine we will hold demonstrations here in Blantyre on Wednesday next week, January 13 against the influx of foreign nationals running small scale businesses in the country and other issues.
“It is shameful that the Blantyre council chose to be quite after being served with a notification letter about the demonstrations and we think this was a deliberate move. So this time we will not tolerate that, no one will stop us again from exercising our constitutional rights,” said Namiwa.
Namiwa added that they were promised by some other government officials that within two weeks there shall be a lasting solution to all the issues raised by CDEDI but to no avail hence planning these demos.
The two groups are also protesting against the influx of foreign nationals running small scale businesses in the country.
CDEDI further wants the president to act on the irregularities in the Affordable Input Program (AIP) which they say is taking away the dignity of the poor people, especially women who are sleeping at the selling depots and are being exposed to all sorts of sexual abuses.