The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has come under the spotlight for endorsing tomorrow’s demonstrations against the government with some critics expressing different opinions on the move.
DPP administrative secretary Francis Mphepo said in a statement yesterday that the party has endorsed the demonstrations, citing rampant corruption, impunity, and incompetence by the nine-party Tonse Alliance administration.
He said: “We should, however, issue a stern warning to the Tonse government against directly or indirectly frustrating and tampering with this right to demonstrate.”
But in an interview yesterday, political analyst Ernest Thindwa and politician-cum-analyst Humphrey Mvula said the DPP wants to regain its relevance which has been fading ever since it lost the court-sanctioned June 23 2020 fresh presidential election to the nine-party Tonse Alliance.
Thindwa said the DPP would be excited to see people on the street, but its active involvement may put a dent on the demonstration.
He sa id some people who might want to join the demonstrations would think twice that the fact that some sections of the society are not happy with the Tonse Alliance, does not necessarily mean that they are looking at DPP as an option.
“Therefore, the involvement of DPP may deter some who would be demonstrators to take part simply because they don’t want to give DPP political mileage.
“Certainly, the mood and the whole character and nature of the demonstrations change its colour,” he said.
Mvula said the DPP’s endorsement of t h e demonstrations is an indication that it still does not accept that the party is out of government or that it shares similar concerns.
“It will water down the real issues because people will question if the demonstration is about being in solidarity with Malawians or it is a political weapon or that the DPP is financing the CSOs [civil society organisations],” he said.
However, political analyst Nandin Patel and governance expert Undule Mwakwasungula backed DPP’s endorsement, saying there is nothing wrong with backing street protests.
The CSOs, under the banner of Citizens against Impunity, are organising the demonstrations to force government to address numerous issues of corruption.
Some of the leaders of the demonstrations are Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives director Sylvester Namiwa, former UTM Party member Bon Kalindo and social media influencer Joshua Chisa Mbele.