Malawi CSO’s At It Again

By Simon Banda

The Malawi civil society have embarked on another campaign issuing threats to president Bingu Wa Mutharika of national wide strikes if he does not resolve the country’s social and economic crisis.

The organisations which are particularly from the northern part of Malawi and  composed of  the usual suspects ,Forum for New Direction (FOND), Youth Watch Society, Renaissance Solutions Centre and Church and CCAP Synod of Livingstonia  issued the warning when they addressed journalist in Mzuzu on Wednesday.

John Chawinga who is Youth Watch Society executive director promised to meet leaders of NGO’s from other regions to organize the national wide campaign against government.

They demand the Restoration of rule of law, safety and security of Human Rights Defenders in Malawi. According to Chawinga “Malawi is plunging into brutal tyranny because there is too much focus on power other than the use of that power for the common good” he said.

The civil society’s announcement is said to be a reaction to the dramatic arrest and release of prominent lawyer ralph Kasambara who is also from the same region. Mr Kasambara was detained for one week despite getting court bail which government said was obtained illegally and procedures were flawed as the judiciary in the country is on strike .However Mr Kasambara was released on Wednesday  on health grounds as he is at Mwaiwathu private hospital. This development  angered most of the civil society leaders who are also his friends and vocally demanded he release and claimed that the arrest was politically motivated.

According to government through minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Ephriam Chiume, told parliament on Wednesday that  Mr kasambara will face four counts of abduction, unlawful wounding,causing grievous harm, and assult.

Soon after the 2009 general election Some of the civil society members, have been protesting against government on all fronts from  economic reforms to  bills passed in parliament, the abuse and deteriorating of human rights in the country. But the ruling party DPP  have been criticising them as being a stabling block to economic development in the country by acting like a political grouping.

The NGO’s made their  announcement despite Malawi’s opposition political parties resolving to meet President Bingu wa Mutharika and the donor community in an attempt to discuss and offer solutions to the current economic and political crises rocking the country.

The resolutions were made at a meeting held in Blantyre on Monday which was chaired by president of People’s Progressive Movement, Mark Katsonga-Phiri.

The parties involved, according to Katsonga, are MCP, UDF, PP, PPM, Petra, Mafunde, MDP, CODE and NRP.

Malawi has been facing acute  forex shortages and fuel which has been blamed on zero deficit budget and bad international relationship the country has with donors in particular who froze aid because of human rights issues that was triggered by the civil society who went on a camping advocating for sanctions.

Government has however blamed the civil society’s role in all this calamity, saying they misrepresent information just to get funding for their respective organisations.

President Bingu Wa mutharika said they just want to please their bosses in Washington without thinking of poor Malawians  who he has a job to protect under the constitution.

The civil society economic demands include,to abandon the zero deficit budget, devalue the Malawi kwacha which echoes the IMF and DFID’s  demands.

However Malawi’s top economic experts including Mathews  Chikaonda  have backed  the zero deficit concept saying its a good route for Malawi to embark on in oder to gain  economic independence after 48 years of political independence , but needs partners for it to be successful.

President Bingu wa Mutharika told the nation to give him three years to solve the economic problems Malawi is facing, but to many that may look too long.

10 Responses to "Malawi CSO’s At It Again"

  1. Ngondo Amawo  February 25, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Bingu manga ma CSO onse.This Ralph Kasambara was an AG for Bingu.Today becanuse he was kicked out of govt he has changed the tune.Mhone,you once washed nkhalamba in England and returned home with nothing and you are now using CSO to spin money for your family.

    Malawians do not participate in these demos unless if you are full of life(ngati mwakhuta moyo).They instigate demos and run away leaving poor Malawians to die.On that day,all Malawians let us stay in-door basi!!They are being sent by Cameron and Obama.If we had oil they would have created a NO FLY ZONE in Malawi.

  2. James Chisoni  February 24, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Malawians lets not fingers on each others. I don’t see the reason to fault Mpoto guys here. It true DEMO won’t assist but it is the only way to voice our concerns to the type of President we have. Remember the opposition led by DADA TEMBO started way back trying to offer solutions but noting has been taken by government. Our clergy has tried its best but what follows is to see Ntaba on TV defending everything government is doing. Even in parliament you see Chaponda taking Malawians as if all are DPP. Now the opposition has teamed up to see BWANA BINGU. That move is commendable but the big question is; will the BWANA take advance from these guys? A Malawi aliyense ayesere kuyankha while we are awaiting for the outcome of this meeting.

  3. kwanunkwanu  February 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    CSOs eat from this activity, therefore it is prudent for them to organize another money spinner for themselves. Money they made out of July 20 is about finishing so they want to replenish their pockets. Challenges are there yes, we have not seen any civil society addressing them. Instead, they find it as a loophole to advance their agenda for disturbing the people. Guys, people died on July 20. No CSO has taken responsibility for it. A warning: I am a chewa, chewas died in that stupid directionless demonstration that achieved nothing in as far as we are concerned. We dont want any more loss of blood for us. If we feel this government has failed, 2014 is coming, we will vote it out of government and choose those we think can do better. But to tell us to go out of the street again and kill more of our people is unacceptable.

    When you are invited in foreign embassies we are not there. You dine, wine and are given money for yourself. They provide you with security money when we who are used are without any protection. We know what you are doing and dont just do it. Do it kwanu komweko. Nthawiyo itakwana, mabasi alipo, mupite ku mzalangwe mukachite zimenezo. We dont want any more chaos, we are harvesting tobacco now dont distaurb us.

  4. Bibo  February 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Since the author of this article has decided to inject some tone of tribalism in his presentation of facts,let me remind him that northerners will always be at the forefront championing the re-emergence of freedom,rule of law ,and good governance.

    It is out of total insanity and lack of responsibility for any Malawian to lock horns with those who are trying to safeguard structures of democracy laid down during the disintergration of the one- party rule.Yes northerners are known for being argumentative and rebelious,so what? It is the same northerners who introduced indegenous politics that led to the creation of MCP which later got hijacked by the Tembos and Bandas;these northerners were eventually labeled rebels.It is a known fact that northerners were at it again denouncing the evils of Dr. Banda’s regime,but who later benefited were the very same people whose lives were restricted in “egg shells” with their mouths duct-taped, holding their sufferings in their hearts because Banda had crocodiles ready to consume them.What I mean here is people from the south and center are very critical of northerners for their political influence but the very same friends’ of northerners either suffer inwardly or are the more backward in terms of social and economic empowerment.Statistics has shown that hunger always hits the south first and Blantyre city is swelling with impoverished people from surrounding villages and districs.Isn’t this social and moral decay?

    One wonders why the south and center have been the main beneficiaries of development activities and yet their people are more vurnerable to poverty and social backwardness.All the presidents since independence have been from these regions and yet Malawi’s GDP per capita has had no upward spiral for most part because of these regions’ lack of capacity to uplift peoples’ lives.Yes the north has for long suffered lack of infrastructure development but its people have the capacity to endure the problems and to uplift their lives.What have been the most painful elements for northerners to harbour discontent and subversive voice is the disregard by the leadership to recognize their contribution to the Malawian society politically and economically and lack of sense by the leadership to marginalise them in almost all spheres of government operations.Summing all these up and put them against the backdrop of a Malawi that has no forex,no fuel,arrogant leadeship,and soaring commodity prices encourage northerners to speak out for all Malawians who love to see freedom ,the rule of law,and money in their pockets.Doesn’t this prove to everyone that CSO leaders,called northeners by others, are voices of all people and aren’t selfish? Is it good for anyone to see a corrupt,undemocractic, and impoverished Malawi? give me a break!

    • M-NET  February 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      I seriouly love ur arguments. the writer is so outdated to the extent to think that its the northerners messing things in malawi. Afterall, whats wrong with northerners fighting for their rights? i guess they are malawians, TOO.

  5. Undule  February 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Ma CSO enawa ndi a fake ndiponso opusa. Amunamuna ndi ife a Undule timadziwa kumpitsa mthumba mzungu without pointnig a gun at him. Enanu mutangofera umphawi. Mutifunse ife amane tinayambitsa zinthuzi!

  6. Kho  February 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    last time you (CSOs) influenced people and some guys died there. i understand nobody from the activists lost their life, today you want more blood shed, may God forgive you for your greedy motive. all what you are looking for its not freedom but money from your so called donors. I dont know if this govt affects only the northerners or we only have strong people in north only? we need to have a peaceful way of handling the problems in our country. If somebody has an objection regarding the detention of kasambara i can openly say has got a problem as far as justice is concerned. this is the case because alot of suspects are languishing in prisons because the judiciary personnel are on strike, so even someone can wonder ‘How important is Raph to have special consideration while thousands of people are being denied the opportunity to have the bail? guys let us be realistic do not allow these people to fool us. note that this bingu will go and we will remain with our country, the destruction we cause today will automatically affect us in the near future. kasambara has to face trial finish! and may God redeem our nation from the destruction because I know those people who lost their lives on 20th July their families are reaaly missing them and their care too while no body from csos has come to rescue these families. i think I beta be coward let my family go on and come 2014 bingu has to go because i believe God is watching!!!!!!!

  7. milliton mazambwi  February 23, 2012 at 8:44 am


  8. Zanu izo  February 23, 2012 at 8:32 am

    A Civil society kodi ndi anthu angati amangidwa kuyambira pa 1 Jan 12 kufikira lero? Nanga ndi angati mwawamenyera ufulu kuti atuluke? Mwayankhulapo chani za a Judiciary omwe madandaulo awo mpaka lero sanathandizidwe? Kodi ufulu uzikhala wa anthu otchuka okhaokha? Kodi mwachitapo chani kwa anthu anavulazidwa pa ma Demo ena aja? Kodi a Malawi ayembekezere phindu lanji akapanganso ma Demo ena????????????????????????????? Mutipwetekesa odwelera muli chete. Mutiuze nambala ya anthu ali mndende akufunika chithandizo komanso onse anavulala ndi zithandizo zaperekedwa!!

  9. Nkem Owoh  February 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Hei osamangoyankhjula tapangani mofulumira mukuchedwa .Ife tatopa ndi bomaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.


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