Blantyre demos postponed

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and small scale business operators in Blantyre have postponed demonstrations which were scheduled for today in the commercial city.

According to CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa, the decision has been arrived at following president Lazarus Chakwera’s Tuesday special national address where he ordered a three day mourning period in the wake of deaths of Ministers Sidik Mia and Lingson Belekanyama.

Namiwa through a press statement said the demonstrations will now be held on on Tuesday next week on 19th January 2021 claiming they still want their concerns to be addressed to the Chakwera led government.

“The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) in collaboration with the Blantyre Small Scale Business Operators, hereby inform the nation that the peaceful demonstrations that were for Wednesday, 13th January, 2021, have been postponed to Wednesday, 20th January 2021.

“This decision has been arrived at in order to comply and respect President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s decree that the country should observe three days of mourning from Tuesday, 12th January to Thursday, 14th January in respect of the souls of Hon. Belekanyama, who was the Minister of Local Government, and Hon. Sidik Mia who was the Minister of Transport,” reads part of the statement

However, Namiwa has called on President Chakwera and his Tonse alliance administration to go back to the drawing board and restrategize on how the COVID-19 pandemic can be contained.

He re-emphasized the point of thorough consultations before coming up with any decision and has since reminded president Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima of their promises during the campaign period that they had the solution to the pandemic.

“This is the time, we believe, that they have to execute and implement such solutions. We, however, would like to caution the Tonse government that should they consider implementing a national lockdown, then they have to put in place measures to cushion the poor and the marginalized people in society,” said Namiwa.