Malawi: Fears of Fresh Unrest As Malawi Youths Plan Protests - Cadets Set to Take Advantage

Malawians are bracing for fresh unrest after the main activists under the banner of Youth for Change unveiled plans for a series of demonstrations with opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) notorious youth cadets set to join in looting and violence.

Youth for Change has announced plans for nationwide protests on July 13 against President Lazarus Chakwera's appointment of a 31-member Cabinet which is being branded as "tokenism" to his picks.

"What Mr President has done is no more than a reward for the personal battle the beneficiaries fought," reads a statement of the youth grouping in part.

In an interview, the grouping said it will mobilise one million Malawian youth for the march.

The demonstrations will include a vigil at President's private residence in Area 6, Lilongwe where Chakwera is currently residing.

"We remain in the trenches and will continue to fight. We will take to the streets to push the presidency to address this Cabinet of nepotism," said one of the activists.

Meanwhile, Nyasa Times understands that DPP Cadets wants to take advantage of the protest to cause havoc and make Malawi ungovernable.

The new Cabinet has angered most Malawians who took to social media to express disappointment with the inclusion of old-timers and "corrupt" individuals.

"The electorate voted for change, but this new Cabinet lacks novelty. It is definitely uninspiring, if not disappointing," said Danwood Chirwa, a Malawian law professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He said the new government should have sent a clear message to all and sundry that patronage; corruption and looting will end but to no avail.

"Individuals who have looted before should be investigated and prosecuted, and that new, clean and competent people should lead Malawi," Chirwa said.

Gender activist Emma Kaliya also described the Cabinet as a raw deal, saying President Chakwera has not lived up to the promise of 40% female representation and that most women are deputy ministers.

The Cabinet composition shows that Chakwera's Malawi Congress Party (MCP) dominates with 16 party members -- 12 full ministers and four deputies -- representing 51.6%, while Vice President Saulos Chilima's UTM Party has six members: four ministers and two deputies, representing 19.4%.

There are also two independent legislators in the new government.

The president had initially named five people to Cabinet positions within days of his election.

Chakwera, who came into power in June after defeating former leader Peter Mutharika, has also nominated a new police chief, new central bank governor and tax authority head.

More From: Nyasa Times

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