AFRICA/MALAWI - Protests against corruption

Thursday, 27 October 2022 corruption   bishops   civil society  

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - In the main cities of Malawi, including Blantyre and Zomba, demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against corruption and the rising cost of basic services. The civil society activist group Action Against Impunity (API) has called for the demonstrations against the government's actions. Protest rallies are scheduled to take place in Blantyre and Zomba on October 27 and in the capital Lilongwe on October 28, where representatives of the organization plan to present a petition to President Lazarus Chakwera.
API originally intended to hold the protests in mid-August, but the fact that President Chakwera was abroad at the time prompted the movement's leaders to postpone the rallies.
In a communiqué published on October 10th, the bishops of Malawi also pointed out the serious situation of instability in the country and expressed their concern about increasing corruption and the high level of poverty.
In this context, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malawi
gives voice to the feelings of disappointment of the population at the failure of the current political leadership to keep their election campaign promises. "We recall with nostalgia that just over two years ago we went to the polls and elected a new government on the basis of what we believed to be credible campaign promises for a new Malawi," the bishops said , "Unfortunately, and this seems to be the verdict of many Malawians, the much vaunted promises of change are far from being realized. The daily struggle for survival is becoming ever more intense for the vast majority of Malawians."
The bishops' conference is therefore calling on the government to draw up and implement new anti-corruption laws and on officials to carry out their work conscientiously for the public good. "We are deeply concerned that some of the defenders of the poor in our country have become spokesmen for the powerful and rich, leaving the most vulnerable citizens
alone in the darkness in their quest for economic justice," they write in their statement.
It was recently revealed that President Chakwera had to sack Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe and his deputy Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima over a fertilizer procurement scandal. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/10/2022)