Civil Society Organizations Court Bushiri On anti-Govt Demos: Budget At K80 Million

Civil Society Organizations that are backing the Public Affairs Committee (PAC demonstrations on 13th December, have turned to the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri for financial support.

The CSOs leaders that comprise Timothy Mtambo of the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation CHRR, Gift Trapense of the Center for the Development of People (Cedep), Human rights activist Billy Mayaya met Bushiri’s Communications Director on Monday 4th December at area 47’s Annies Lodge where they presented a funding proposal for the demos to Bushiri through Nyondo.

Also present at the meeting was UDF publicist Ken Ndanga. The meeting was held at the Lodge where Nyondo was lodging and happened on Monday night from 8:30pm.

The meeting was meant to start at 7pm but it delayed because Trapense was travelling from Mzuzu where he also had a meeting with other CSOs and Church leaders to support the Demos.

During the meeting which was chaired by Trapense, it was noted that for the demos to be a success they need resources to print t-shirts, placards, publicity and other logistics since the demos are to take place country wide.

Therefore Nyondo asked the meeting to come up with a budget and confirmed that Bushiri was ready to finance. The money that was mentioned was K80 million.

The CSO leaders agreed to endorse the demos which are being propagated by PAC. The CSOs also agreed to push PAC that apart from the Electoral Reforms related bills they must include leadership and social issues for the demos to carry more weight.

The first point of action was a press conference that the CSOs held on Saturday to garner support for the demos. The CSO leaders had presented a list of Journalists to be palm oiled to advance their agenda through newspaper articles.

They include The Nation’s Ntchindi Meki, Sugzo Chitete and Golden Matonga. Alick Ponje, Brian Banda of Times, Gabriel Kamlomo of ZBS among many others.

Mtambo and Trapense were also asked to meet PAC Chairperson Reverend Felix Chingota. The three met on Wednesday at the PAC secretariat PAC has meanwhile bought the idea and has included leadership and social issues on the list of demands.

The meeting with the CSOs agreed to come up with placards that will show their displeasure with the leadership of President Mutharika and calls for him to step down.

When called for his side of the story, Trapense confirmed that the meeting took place but indicated that they are supporting the demos for the sake of Malawians.

Asked about the K80 million budget Trapense said “any demonstrations need resources and they are seeking support from well meaning Malawians to help with resources since the issues involved are for every Malawian”.

Nyondo’s number was constantly out of reach and Chingota hanged up the phone call when the topic was introduced.

PAC is adamant to hold the demonstrations despite government’s commitment to table the electoral reforms related bills. On Wednesday, government circulated to members of parliament three out of the 6 bills.

These include Referendum Bill, The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill and Assumption of Office (Transitional Arrangements) Bill.NE

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