Malawi consumers plan protest against President Banda


Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA)  boss John Kapito  has said he has been mobilizing consumers to  stage a second round of protests against the rising costs of food and services, against the government of President Joyce Banda, calling it a non-listening government.

Kapito said the government had “ignored” issues they raised early this year when they staged the first non-violent demonstrations.

CAMA had petitioned the government on January 17 to stop the floatation of the currency, trim the cabinet, convoy and local and international travel.

Kapito was quoted by the Nation on Sunday as saying: “”There will be several activities in the second week of May. We know this government is not a listening one, but we will demonstrate anyway to express ourselves. The Southern Region is also planning activities.”

Hebrews Misomali, CAMA coordinator for the Centre, also said the “government is not responsible; the presidency is enriching itself and not minding its people.”

But Malawi’s Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said “allow us, government, to work and let the people be the judges. “

Meanwhile, the Malawi kwacha has marginally appreciated against the US dollar, particularly in Authorised Dealer Banks (ADBs), thanks trickling in of the tobacco proceeds which have boosted foreign currency reserves, according to a local economist.

As of Thursday, the kwacha traded at K418 at Indebank, K416 at National Bank of Malawi (NBM) and K419 at CDH Investment Bank against the dollar from K420 where it settled for at least two weeks.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in its first quarter (January to March) report, said the forecast increase in forex reserves from $154 million in 2012 to $291 million this year, will also help stabilise the exchange rate.

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