Center for Development and Economic Initiatives (CDEDI) has announced nationwide demonstrations on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 over government`s failure to scrap off punitive taxes on basic goods and services.
The development follows the elapsing of a 7-day ultimatum that CDEDI earlier issued to government to scrap off the 16.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooking oil and other basic commodities.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told a news conference in Lilongwe on Saturday morning that Malawians are currently sailing through troubled waters as the cost of living has gone high.
“If you look at the state of our people, Malawians are in a sorry state, each and every day they put on very brave faces because they are hardworking people but theirs is a sad story and we vowed a crusade that will see the downfall of all punitive taxes and high interest rates.
“We are announcing that we are going to mobilise Malawians and hold peaceful demonstrations across the country but on top of punitive taxes and high interest rates, we are also adding another issue of mismanagement of Covid-19 funds,” said Namiwa.
One of the concerned Malawians Kileya Byson lamented the introduction of taxes on basic necessities.
“As a concerned mother dwelling in the outskirts of Lilongwe City I am truly facing serious economic hardships apparently perpetrated by government through their punitive taxes on basic goods and services.
“What we are calling for is a listening ear from those in authority and this should follow with action by addressing the concerns that we poor Malawians are relaying, life is really becoming very tough,” lamented Byson.
Government is yet to comment on the fresh development, but in an earlier interview, its spokesperson Gospel Kazako said the Tonse led administration believes in contact and dialogue.
He also said government will not execute its duties based on ultimatums.