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Malawi in flames: Riots broke out in Lilongwe

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by MiratKad, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. M

    MiratKad JF-Expert Member

    Jul 21, 2011
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    Malawi riots spread to major cities after troops clash with protesters Violence erupts in Lilongwe and Blantyre as army and police try to halt anti-government demonstrations

    Malawi in flames: Riots broke out in Lilongwe and Blantyre after a court injunction banned protests against the economic crisis. Photograph: Diane Boles/AP

    Riots have broken out in several cities in Malawi after police and the army tried to disperse protesters demanding the resignation of President Bingu wa Mutharika, whom they accuse of ignoring civil liberties and weakening the economy.

    In the capital, Lilongwe, witnesses said smoke was billowing into the sky as demonstrators burnt cars, offices and shops belonging to politicians from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

    Troops were deployed in the normally sleepy commercial capital, Blantyre, and police fired teargas at marchers who had gathered outside the stock exchange.

    "The earlier injunction has been withdrawn and we're proceeding on the planned route of the demonstration but sadly we're being smoked by teargas," said Gift Makhwawa, president of the Malawi Law Society.

    A police spokesman, Willie Mwaluka, said security forces were on high alert to curb the unprecedented wave of unrest in the landlocked former British colony. "We're assessing the situation as it unfolds. Right now I don't have any confirmed figures of arrests, and extent of property damage," he said.

    Marchers in the northern city of Mzuzu ransacked the DPP's offices in a rare show of defiance against Mutharika, a former World Bank economist who was first elected in 2004 and who has presided over six years of aid-funded economic growth. His ratings faded this year when he became embroiled in a diplomatic row with Britain, Malawi's biggest donor, over a leaked embassy cable that referred to him as "autocratic and intolerant of criticism".

    After the expulsion of its ambassador to Lilongwe, Britain kicked out Malawi's representative in London and suspended aid worth $550m (£341m) over the next four years. The freeze has left a hole in the budget of a country that has historically relied on aid for 40% of its revenues.
    Despite mounting commercial pressure on the currency and repeated calls from the likes of International Monetary Fund for a devaluation, Mutharika has vowed to stand firm. "We are not off-track. It is the IMF which is off-track in Malawi," he said in a lecture broadcast on state media on Wednesday. "When other developed countries are receiving bailouts, what we get in Malawi are demands to devalue our currency."

    Sounds familiar?[[/COLOR]
  2. Innobwoy

    Innobwoy JF-Expert Member

    Jul 21, 2011
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    I was in mzuzu yesterday, the situation was not good, i saw people with the Red tshirts shouting, we decided to leave the place and went to Kalonga, what i sence is that the Egptian and Tunisia revolution wind now is knocking the Sourthern and East Africa,the next will be Tanzania, leaders get prepared,unbroken wind is coming,no body on earth ever stoped the revolutionn.