CDEDI faults Chakwera, Police for not condemning Blantyre violence


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has faulted the Malawi leader, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, and the Malawi Police Service for not coming out to condemn violence that erupted during anti-government demonstrations in Blantyre.

This is according to CDEDI press statement released today which has been signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa who said it is surprising that after four days of the violence, neither Chakwera nor police have condemned the acts.

Namiwa wondered why the Inspector General (IG) of Police George Kainja remain quite on the matter when he once promised to bring back the lost trust in the police by, also, doing things differently.

He added that the Chakwera and police’s silence on the matter only reveals the people who sanctioned the violence.

“It is, therefore, very disheartening to note that more than five days after the uncalled-for acts of violence, there has not been any public statement from the police about the events in Blantyre. It is against this background that CDEDI is calling upon President Chakwera to publicly condemn the barbaric acts in Blantyre, and distance his party from them.

“This, to us, is clear evidence that such barbaric acts were orchestrated and sponsored by none other than agents of the government of the day, notably the Malawi Congress Party (MCP),” said Namiwa in the statement.

Namiwa in the statement further said it is also surprising to note that the “thugs” flooded the streets of Blantyre before the day of the peaceful demonstrations, and started issuing threats at Bon Kalindo who organized the demonstrations.

He then wondered why the Tonse led government is doing exactly what DPP regime was known for when it comes to disturbing demonstrations claiming they were sending youths to attack demonstrators.

“Malawians’ memories are still fresh, and they are able to recall what the immediate-past Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime was infamously known for—use of thugs to terrorise innocent and unarmed citizens that were perceived to be advancing dissenting views,” reads another part of the statement.

He has since urged youths in the country to refrain from being used by politicians to perpetrate violence, rather they should strive to be agents of change to the Malawi they all wanted.

“Among many promises, they promised to empower Malawian youths to meaningfully participate in the social and economic development of the country; but what is happening now is contrary to this sugar-coated promise,” reads another part.

The rights group has since challenged IG Kainja to explain to Malawians why police has remained mum on the incidences and failed to act on them despite having clear leads in the form of the video clips that have gone viral on social media.

The Blantyre demonstrations on Friday were marred by violence as protesters clashed with another group of people who were accused of being against the demonstrations a development that saw the police officers firing teargas to disperse them.

This irked the protesters started pelting stones at the police and later set on fire a container which police used as police unit in Blantyre Business District.

Blantyre protests descend into chaos