Organisers of the January 17 nationwide demonstrations against economic hardship in Malawi met senior police officers at Southern Region Headquarters in Blantyre on Friday to discuss security modalities.
Organising committee spokesperson Kingsley Mabalani said the police assured them of security and the group is going ahead with the planned consumer demonstrations against Joyce Banda’s administration.
Mabalani also applauded Banda for allowing them to demonstrate during the live broadcast with Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on Monday.
But Mabalani deplored the President’s statement in which she said demonstrations or not, there is no turning back on the flotation and devaluation of the kwacha.
Said Mabalani: “That’s being too insensitive. Such statements make consumers that are feeling the pinch angrier.”
The spokesperson said the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has followed all set procedures by informing all the relevant authorities. Mabalani warned government, ruling party officials and groupings that are planning to counter the demonstrations by using media houses, that such behaviour causes violence.
The demonstrations planners on Thursday disclosed they have issued a six-point petition to be presented to the President, raising issues she is expected to respond within 14 days.
The points included immediate stop of flotation of the kwacha, a freeze on foreign and local travel by the President, her Vice-President Khumbo Kachali and the Cabinet, declaration of assets by the President and the trimming of the Cabinet.
Banda, in the ZBS’ live programme, said she already declared her assets when she was vice-president.
But human rights activists, lawyer Justin Dzonzi and Undule Mwakasungula, have wondered what the President is afraid of by not declaring her assets, arguing her remarks were unfortunate and a setback in the fight against corruption.