Fresh from holding peaceful consumer protests last week, Cama has cautioned it will only call off further demonstrations if government puts its commitment in writing.
Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito argued in an interview on Tuesday that so far, government has not demonstrated its commitment to addressing the concerns consumers raised in their seven-point petition delivered to government on January 17.
Said Kapito: “We put our demands in writing and we expect government to do likewise. We want government to explain how it intends to address the concerns raised, and do so in writing to enable us to monitor progress.
“We do not want mere rhetoric that government has done this and that. They have to be clear about it and engage us in a more constructive process. So far, there is nothing from government, and from January 17, we started counting down to the 21-day ultimatum we gave.”
He said should government fail to move and demonstrate its commitment, Cama would not hesitate, but proceed to organise further protests and boycotts in different undisclosed forms.
Kapito argued there are demands that can be addressed immediately if government is committed enough.
Malawi government spokesperson, Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu, after the demonstrations, told The Nation the Cama petition was received with an open mind.
Kunkuyu said government has already started addressing some of the issues raised in the petition, claiming that the presidential motorcade has been reduced; from last October, government banned civil servants’ external trips and that the presidential jet is about to be sold.
He said the demonstrators’ move was the beginning of dialogue between government and the consumers.
Kunkuyu could not be reached on Tuesday for a fresh comment as he was reportedly in China when The Nation wanted him to respond to Cama’s fresh demand.
Presidential press secretary Steven Nhlane was also not readily available.
The demonstrators presented the seven-point petition to President Joyce Banda’s administration, querying the current economic hardship.