Malawi rights groups to stage anti-gov’t vigils

September 16, 2011 7:52 am

, BLANTYRE, Sept 15 – Malawi’s civil society groups on Thursday announced nationwide vigils for next week to press the government to make greater reforms following deadly riots in July.

“We are just resuming our idea of holding nationwide, peaceful vigils on September 21,” rights activist and vigil organiser Billy Mayaya told AFP.

In July, 19 people were killed during two days of anti-government demonstrations organised by civic groups in three main cities of the country.

The protests were fueled by anger over chronic fuel and foreign currency shortages and President Bingu wa Mutharika’s failure to manage the economy.

Mutharika has since fired his entire cabinet and hired new ministers, in a bid to turn around his government’s performance, and meeting one of the protesters’ key demands.

But the new cabinet includes his wife and his brother, seen as his potential successor.

Last month the vigils “to resist bad economic and democratic governance” were postponed after the rights groups reached a deal with government, in talks mediated by United Nations representatives.


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