Another round of protests in Malawi
It is still not quiet in Malawi. July 20 anti-governmental demonstrations turned out violent, 19 people died. During those days Malawi civil society called out to stand up against the ruling Malawian government monthly.
A lasting fuel crisis, a shortage of foreign currencies and struggle for academic freedom after a lecture got suspended from his university duties made people go to the streets end of july and raise their voice. After the student protests in Malawian universities (eufrika.org reported on this topic 21.04., 15.06., 23.06., 04.07.2011) it was the first time people went to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with Bingu wa Mutharika’s government. After these demonstrations turned out violent with a lot of fatalities Malawi civil society announced they would call out for anti-governmental protests each and every month until the government is willing to sit together and talk with the opposition.
After the demonstrations in august got cancelled and the Malawian police and city assembly failed to grant permission for protests in september Malawi civil society announced a nationwide three-day stay away from work. The organizers spokesperson, Billy Mayaya, said:
We have decided that planned vigils should be done in one’s own home. We are calling on all Malawians to stay home, pray and reflect on the problems that are affecting this country.
Though the government itself has called such a stay away as illegal.
By giving people such an alternative to the not permitted street protests the organizers hope to send another signal to Mutharika’s government and express their dissatisfaction. It is actually unclear how this tactics is going to work out and if lots of Malawians are effectively participating.