A veteran politician is strongly advising the Joyce Banda administration to tread carefully in handling issues surrounding the nationwide demonstrations being organised by the leadership of the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA).

The demonstration, scheduled for January 17 next year, is being championed by CAMA executive director John Kapito over the socio- economic challenges in the country.

President of Malawi Democratic Party Kamlepo Kalua is describing plans to demonstrate as a conspiracy, and urges the government to expose those behind it by allowing them to demonstrate.

Kalua was among the organizers of the historic July 20 demonstrations that left at least 20 people dead.

His comment follows reports that the ruling people’s party has launched what they call the anti-demonstration campaign, in which they are asking their supporters not to be part of those planning the demonstrations.

Speaking to Capital fm, Kalua said it is suicidal for the government to consider countering the demonstration plans, as that could only bring chaos.

Resentments

Organizers of the demonstration continue to face opposition from other sections of the society. Some human rights campaigners are against the protests in fear of loss of life and property.

In a latest development some a group of concerned citizens in the northern region, Mzuzu city which registered a high number of deaths in July 2011 protests, has advised people in the city not to participate the protests.

Members of the Malawi law society (MLS) in a grouping of lawyers, have also distanced themselves from the protests arguing the concerns raised by the organizers are not within their priority.

MLS general secretary Jabber Alide says they do not have hard facts requiring them to throw their weight behind the protests.

He however was quick to point out that what CAMA is planning to do is within the country’s constitution.

Demo reasons

The organizers have issued a six point petition to the president to be responded within fourteen days after being presented.

In the petition, they are demanding an immediate stop to the floatation of the kwacha, a freeze in foreign and local travel of the executive arm of the government and the trimming of the cabinet among other conditions.

The organizers have ruled out dialogue with the government on the issue, arguing the executive should just respond to their concerns.

The move to snub dialogue has been criticized by some civic society leaders and the government itself, arguing that the protests are being organized with sinister motives.

Meanwhile, economic commentators say Malawians need to change their mindset when it comes to the implementation of national policies.

An economist Chikavu Nyirenda was commenting on Consumers association of Malawi’s call that the government should reverse the floatation of the kwacha.

Speaking during capital fm’s Sunday round table program Nyirenda says the public should drop what he described as a Pompopompo Syndrome of wanting to see prompt results of national policies.

He added that such national policies or decisions such as the devaluation may take time to mature for better results.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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