Govt under fire over draconian laws

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has condemned the Tonse Alliance administration for using the National Assembly to introduce draconian laws which are against the tenets of the country’s hard-earned democracy.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told Journalists during a press briefing today that one year down the line Lazarus Chakwera and his party are all over town, grabbing everyone by the neck in their effort to the country back to where it was, some 27 years ago.

He said that Tonse government is busy dismantling and crippling the judiciary, in order to clear the way for its ill intentions.

Namiwa noted that the current government has carelessly tampered with the labour laws and pushed an amendment to the effect that employers would be at liberty to deduct salary from an employee.

He suspected that the government is targeting to scare teachers and medical workers through this draconian law.

“This must be stopped, at all cost! President Chakwera is busy changing the laws, stopping people from exercising their right to demonstrate against any infringements on their human rights, and yet the President is pretending to have forgotten he and the Tonse Alliance Government, are the biggest beneficiaries of the very same demonstrations he is shamelessly trying to stop.

“As it were and indeed as it was provided for in the Labour Laws, workers were within their rights to down tools upon issuance of notice, without the fear to have their salaries/wages deducted. And it was for a reason this law was coined this way, to protect defenseless employees from harsh treatment from their employers simply for exercising their rights,” he said.

He went on to say that teachers are human beings and people are in good positions because of them but teachers are suffering because of bad working conditions.

He also said that Malawians are dismayed to note that at a time when government was expected to waive some taxes to help small and medium business operators, especially those involved in cross border trade recover or at least survive the effects of the covid-19, the Chakwera administration is shamelessly introducing new punitive advance income tax that will drive more people, especially women, into untold poverty.

“It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging President Chakwera not to assent to the punitive advance income tax bill, and take back all the bad laws, especially the Labour Amendments Act, which we believe is drafted to stop the civil servants, specifically teachers, who have recently proven to be a thorn in the flesh of the Chakwera administration,” he said

He also asked Malawians to be watchful about everything happening in the country and warned the government to be alert and stand against any attempt to slide the country back to dictatorship.

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