The board of the quasi-religious group Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is set to meet “shortly” to discuss how to mobilise affiliates for the April 27 2018 nationwide demonstrations some civil society organisations (CSOs) are organising.
The CSOs are organising the demonstrations to express displeasure over government’s handling of the K4 billion pay-out to members of Parliament (MPs), among other concerns.
In an interview on Wednesday, PAC executive director Robert Phiri said the board will also discuss how best to support the CSOs to successfully stage the demonstrations.
He said: “However, it needs to be noted that a demonstration is a democratic right of every individual. And there is no debate about it.
“So, Malawians should not wait for any institution to endorse it or not. As long as they feel affected, they need to take part without waiting for anyone to tell them so.”
Phiri was reacting to a statement the Young Pastors Coalition of Malawi (YPCM) issued on Tuesday.
The statement, signed by YPCM president Reverend Patrick Banda, discouraged Malawians from taking part in the demonstrations, arguing that the protests would deny Malawians development because “the said funds are set to benefit the people of Malawi and not any political party or individual legislators”.
The CSOs want to force Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa to resign from Cabinet for the “inconsistencies, illegality and a cloud of suspicions” that have characterised the infamous K4 billion pay-out that raises governance and accountability questions.
Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka, whose organisation is one of those in the forefront pushing for good governance and accountability, said his organisation and others will go ahead with the demonstrations as planned.
The demonstrations are set to be held under the theme-For How Long Shall Malawians Continue To Be Taken for Granted? Loss of Public Trust in the Current Administration: Time to Reclaim Our Destiny.