Malawi activists urge citizens to rise over fuel, water shortage and power black out

malawi_rafiq_hajatMalawi human rights activist and a social and political analyst have urges citizens to rise and stand-up for their rights over economic problems including the shortage of fuel, forex, scarcity of water and daily power black-outs.

Billy Banda, executive director of Malawi Watch a human rights organization and Rafiq Hajat (pictured), head of Blantyre-based think-tank Institute for Policy made the remarks during a Sunday Roundtable Discussion Forum on private radio, Capital FM.

Hajat said Malawian have a right under the Constitution citing Section 30 (2) which he said stipulates that every person has a right to development saying the state shall take all necessary measures for realization for the right of development; such that measures shall include equality for opportunity for all.

He pointed out that problems for electricity blackouts emanate from the political appointees of the boards of the institutions which are not qualified for that work [and] corruption.

But these are just hanging up in the air. We need an independent investigation why are these things not working properly, who are the culprits and must be punished, said Hajat.

He said Malawians who gave power to the government and this constitution should rise give an ultimatum to the administration of President Bingu wa Mutharika to say if the next 14 days we do not see independent investigations, we will boycott, we will not be paying bills.

In the history of every country in the world there comes a certain point you can say that was a crossing point. And I think the people of Malawi are extremely patient, said outspoken Hajat.

He blamed the government for mismanagement of available of resources and allocation of resources in the shortage of fuel.

All the fuel imports in this country are controlled by Petroleum Importers Limited, its a consortium comprising of big boys. They refused to come to this programme [Sunday Round Table Programme]. What are they hiding? The attitude leaves a lot to be desired, he said, adding The issues of fuel imports have been a fertile breeding ground for corrupt practices.

Why are we allowing one organization to control the supply and demand of this vital source of energy of this country? We are as Malawian overcharged for the fuel because of various levies. If it was liberalized and put into competition the price of fuel today will be lower by 20 or 30 percent and further it will be available, noted Hajat.

Hajat suggested that government should remove regulation on fuel importation and create competition to avert shortage of fuel crisis.

In his take, Banda observed that social services have completely gone down and that there is lack of transparency and accountability in the government of Mutharika.

Malawian should be in a position to be able to stand up for their rights. Malawi is almost is now reaching a point of crisis. The key problem is emanating from the shortage of forex, the shortage of forex if creating a lot of problems in this country and the shortage of fuel is another crisis that is affecting Malawians, he said

Banda said President Mutharika has relaxed after an overwhelming victory in May and he is not appreciating the voter.

Post published in: Politics

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