Sanday Chongo Kabange in Berlin, Germany
Hundreds of protestors have fought running battles with police after their attempt to hold a peaceful demonstration was quelled by riot police Wednesday.
Reports out of Malawi say some protestors have been detained while others have been rushed to health centres after a raw with riot police in different parts of the southern African state.
Malawi’s opposition and civil society had planned to demonstrate in an effort to press President Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration to better Malawi’s dwindling economic and political standards.
Among the major factors that hashed Wednesday’s demo involves a wide a range of issues including repressive media laws recently passed by parliament, fuel shortages and bad economic governance.
Malawian journalist, Lucky Mkandawire who is on the ground said by instant message “The situation is worse in the Northern City of Mzuzu where demonstrators have reportedly burnt down a vehicle and an office belonging to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
He said in the Capital Lilongwe a number of civil society leaders and demonstrators were detained for some hours before being released.
Mkandawire added that a police vehicle was also set ablaze.
“All this is happening while the President is conducting a public lecture at the State House where he is lecturing Malawians on good governance, self reliance, among others,” said Mkandawire.
A notice calling on Malawians to partake in the demonstration read in part, “The demonstrations have been organized as part of our constitutional right to express alarm regarding the current economic and democratic crises facing Malawi, with the aim of calling for an end to the current poor economic and democratic governance being advanced by the current administration”.
Another Malawian journalist, Upile Ndilowe said via skype, “The situation at the moment is really pathetic as there is chaos in all the streets of Malawi. People can hardly move and business is at halt. At the moment there is a public lecture at the state house the president would like to address the nation of Malawi on the situation.”
A heavy blanket of anti-riot police has been deployed and is reported to be keeping vigil in trouble hotspots.