Small business operators to hold protests tomorrow

… BCC refuses to receive petition

Rights group Centre for Democracy and Economic Initiative (CDEDI) together with Blantyre Small Business Operators including motorcycle operators will hold demonstrations tomorrow in Blantyre.

This was disclosed on Tuesday morning when the two groups held a press briefing where it was also disclosed that

According to CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the demonstrations are expected to start at 9 am from the upper stadium through trade fair, to the Blantyre City Council where there shall be petition handover ceremony.

Minibus Drivers Association and Motorcycle Operators in the commercial city will join the peaceful demonstrations.

However, the Blantyre Council has said due to current COVID-19 situation, none of its council officials will be present to receive the petition for fear of infections a development which CDEDI has described as a lame excuse.

Namiwa wondered why the whole council could fail to receive a petition claiming there will be observation of all COVID-19 prevention measures and sees no reason for the council not to be available to receive the petition.

The CDEDI director further added that what the council is doing is a sign of barring the public from exercising their right to demonstrate and added that this is the same impunity and executive arrogance they have been talking against with.

“We are here confirming that tomorrow, Wednesday, January 13 the demonstrations are still on here in Blantyre and we are urging all Malawians to take part in this peaceful match which we are starting at 9AM at the Kamuzu upper stadium.

“However, we are saddened that Blantyre City Council officials have refused to be present to receive our petition. This is what we have been against and for sure this is one way of barring Malawians from demonstrating but we are unstoppable this time.” said Namiwa.

Meanwhile, Minibus Drivers Association and Motorcycle Operators in the commercial city has announced that they will be part of the demonstrations claiming there are some issues which the Chakwera administration should improve.

Among others, these Minibus Drivers and Motorcycle Operators are demanding government to review the fuel hike and want government to stop impounding motorcycles over registration and licenses.

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