CSOs to proceed with demos

Civil Society Organizations under Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have called off their meeting with government due to what they described as government’s lack of seriousness on issues of national importance.

Addressing the media in Lilongwe, HRDC Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence said the cancellation of the meeting follows the unavailability of President Peter Mutharika and cabinet ministers at the planned talks.

Trapence accused government for having a hidden agenda to sabotage the September 21 national wide march which they said will go ahead as planned.

He said HRDC requested senior government officials, including President Mutharika to be part of the dialogue for a purpose.

“For us to have a fruitful dialogue we wanted key decision makers to be on the same table including some chief executives of parastatals such as ESCOM and also MACRA.”

But government spokesperson, Nicholus Dausi said government has no clue as to what the grouping is looking for.

Dausi said that the delegation which was sent to meet them was well qualified for their needs and not the president.

“We had a 15 member strong delegation but if they have called off the meeting, fine,” Dausi told YFM in a telephone interview.

The march follows government failure to address concerns which were raised by HRDC in April 27 petition and the fresh demands.

Among other motives behind the demonstration are the theft of K 1.9 billion worth of fuel at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), K145 million police food ration scam, persistent blackouts, worsening corruption and impunity in handling matters of public interest.

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