Thursday, October 11, 2012

Civil Societies Ready to Demonstrate Against Joyce Banda

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin! The writing is on the wall as religious-based civil societies will demonstrate their displeasure with the current regime this month in Blantyre.
            According to press reports, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has decided to hold a major conference where delegates will examine ills by the current regime.
"I don't want to pre-empt what will be discussed. However, it is only sufficient to tell you that as PAC we strongly feel that not everything is going on well in this country”, said the Publicity Secretary of the faith bodies, Maurice Munthali.
Resign or Improve: PAC to school Joyce Banda
PAC joins hundreds of other Civil Society Organisations such as Council of Non-government Organisations in Malawi (CONGOMA) which oversees NGOs registered in Malawi; Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), an umbrella of all organisations working on human rights in Malawi and Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA).
Another outspoken activist, John Kapito, is also reported to have declared that the current president no longer has the  plight of Malawians at heart, 85% of whom are swimming in poverty traps while the president is obsessed with globetrotting.
In retaliation, however, the President labelled all her critics as “jealous and foolish”.
In addition, the Minister of Information and the state house press officers also declared that these critics are criticizing the government merely for not being given any government favours as she has done with her friends.
However, PAC declared that this conference is in line with its aims and objectives.
“We are not fighting or siding with anyone. PAC is just executing its obligations and mandate to provide the necessary checks and balances”.
PAC is well known for standing against the dictatorial regime of Kamuzu Banda. Its members, such as the Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral letter which fought against autocratic leaderships of Kamuzu Banda.
PAC also stood firm against Bakili Muluzi’s third -term bill and open-term bills as he wanted to remain in power, before he handpicked Mutharika.
In March this year, following a similar conference, PAC gave the then President, Bingu wa Mutharika, a 90-days ultimatum to either resign or resolve various socio-economic and political atrocities.
However, Muntharika died a month later on 5th of April. This made the then vice president, Joyce Banda, who sided with PAC on the ultimatum, to be sworn in.
She promised the nation that her regime would address all action points raised during the March conference.
Like Father? Joyce Banda and the late Bingu wa Mutharika
The atrocities raised against Mutharika include poor governance and mismanagement of economic.
However, it is almost 200 days; and the country is yet to see major change. According to Muthari, this has necessitated PAC to take action.
Inside sources indicate that Joyce Banda will also be issued a similar ultimatum of either resigning or giving in to austerity measures. However, going by her recent remarks, one would rightly conclude that resignation is the sole option remaining for Joyce Banda.

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