By Raphael Likaka
Concerned Citizens in Zomba have given government 14 days to address some of the socio-economic issues Malawians are facing such as continued rise of prices of basic commodities.
Leader of the Concerned Citizens Oliver Nakoma said if the government fails to respond to the issued raised in their petition within the 14 days, the concerned citizens will organise a vigil at State House in Lilongwe and other state residences across the country.
Nakoma made the statement as he addressed reporters in Zomba after demonstrations that were held in Zomba on Friday when the Concerned Citizens also presented petition to Zomba District Commissioner, Dr. Smart Gwedemula.
“We’ve given government 14-day ultimatum to respond to the issues raised in our petition failing which we will hold vigils at state residences across the country,” Nakoma added.
The demonstrations started at City Boundary at Chinamwali to the District Commissioner’s office where Nakoma told reporters that Malawians cannot stand the difficult living standards due to continued rising prices of commodities saying things are not reflecting the Tonse Alliance campaign promises.
“People are failing to buy basic commodities such as bread, sugar and cooking oils because their incomes are too low to afford these,” he explained to the reporters.
In his address to reporters, Nakoma reminded the president that he needs to fulfil his campaign promises such as giving K15,000 to the elderly, creating one million jobs and free water and electricity connections.
“Let me remind the state president that he should fulfil promises he made during elections campaign,” he added.
Nakoma observed that many young people are withdrawing from university colleges because they’re failing to pay tuition fees and other requirements due to rising poverty as a result of what he said is “unbearable living standards”
He disclosed that the Zomba demonstration is just the beginning of series of demonstrations saying other demonstrations will take place in other remaining cities
He, however, commended the Malawi Police Service for managing the demonstrations professionally saying the police avoided using teargas in situation when other residents threw stones at them.
” Let me commend the Malawi Police Service for displaying professionalism at a situation when they did not fire tear gas as some people at Chinamwali threw stones at them,” he said.
When the demonstrations ended, some people wanted to loot shops in the city but the Malawi Defense Force intervened to disperse the people.