Lilongwe, 29 February, 2020
SPARE YOUR ANGER FOR THE BALLOT
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) would like to condemn ugly scenes that happened prior, during and after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demonstrations held in Mzuzu on Friday February 28, 2020.
CDEDI is saddened with video and audio clips that have gone viral on social media depicting violent scenes that included pelting of stones, smashing of cars, physical and verbal attacks which at some point degenerated into running battles between the demonstrators and city residents. This is not only regrettable but also unacceptable!
The attacks in question are unjustifiable since the DPP followers just like any other Malawian or political party follower have a constitutional right to assemble and demonstrate freely with others peacefully and unarmed as clearly stipulated in section 38 of the constitution.
We at CDEDI would like to further remind Mzuzu residents in particular and Malawians in general, to ensure that while exercising their rights and freedoms they should not deprive others a chance to enjoy their rights too.
It is also worth noting that Malawi is in a democratic dispensation, where every citizen has a right to choose a political party or grouping and their decisions should be respected.
Although, CDEDI appreciates the current political, social and economic challenges Malawi is facing, we appeal to the aggrieved parties to always strive to follow proper channels fully backed by the laws of the country in order to present their issues to relevant authorities instead of venting their anger on innocent citizens who might be also in a similar predicament.
CDEDI is therefore, appealing to Mzuzu residence and indeed all Malawians to exercise restraint and calm as we patiently wait for the May 19, 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections, which, we believe, is an apparent opportune time for anyone to vent their anger through the ballot.
Finally, we at CDEDI hope that everyone who is taking part in any kind of protests or demonstrations in the streets of our cities and major towns fully understands the cause they are advancing in the course of the demonstrations, and that they are not just being used as pawns.
CDEDI is a non partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established in a quest to attain a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.
CDEDI INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR