Politician Bon Kalindo organised the ‘Malawi Salibwino’ demonstrations to protest against rising cost of living in the country and demand government to find solutions to the economic crisis.
Youth gathered at Blantyre Magistrate Court premises to take part in the protests this morning. As the protesters were waiting for Kalindo, incidents of violence started. Protesters clashed with another group of people who were accused of being against the demonstrations.
People from the two groups also beat up bystanders and stole phones.
As the wait for Kalindo continued to delay the start of the protests, some youth pelted stones at police officers and this led to the law enforcers firing teargas in Blantyre Business District to disperse the protesters.
Teargas spread into office buildings, halting business operations. Some police officers could also be seen washing their faces with water.
Amidst the chaos, protesters set fire to a container which police use as police unit in Blantyre Business District.
Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Peter Mchiza later briefed the media that the demonstrations have been called off by the organisers.
According to Mchiza, Kalindo complained that there was another group of people who joined them as demonstrators yet he says he does not know them.
“He therefore felt being under threat so after discussion with Police, it was resolved that the demonstrations be called off. They will be re-scheduled,” said Mchiza.
But Kalindo has rejected the claims saying Police wanted him to cancel the demonstrations but he insisted that the protests would go on.
“I will not give up, police forced us to cancel the demos, but I’m saying no,” said Kalindo, adding that protesters will present a petition to Blantyre City Council.