Malawians Not Keen on Fuel Protest As Police Out Number Protesters

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The much awaited fuel protest dubbed as '' the Big Bicycle March'' ended up to be a lecture to the protesters and did not pull the support it anticipated as most Malawians were not keen on the protest itself.
Today (Monday) as promised some people flocked to the protest venue and were massively outnumbered by the police who were unleashed to stop the protest as it was said that the protesters did not have the approval of the city council.
This led for Police to detain the protest leaders Mavuto Bamus and Undule Mwakasungura both of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), and according to the police they were just lecturing them on the laws that govern protest and in this case they needed to have an OK from officials to protests and they did not have it thus why the police has stopped them.
The country's constitution allows peaceful demonstration but there are procedures that need to be followed and in this case they were not followed thus why the police stopped the proceedings said the police.
However HRRC bosses have condemned police move and have said president Bingu wa Mutharikas administration is slowly turning into a police state.
The police also detained Desmond Mhango and secretary-general of Malawi Congress of Trade Union, Robert Mkwezalamba, Rev Macdonald Sembereka, Ken Williams Mhango and Billy Mayaya.
The police had over 250 heavily armed police on the scene and it is reported that the Malawi army was also on alert.
A senior cabinet minister has confided with Malawi voice that at first government was running scared as they thought it would have been a strong protest with huge following but looking at how things have turned out they are more than relaxed.
It just shows Malawians did not support the protest itself.
It was scary to see the force that the police unleashed for this demonstration.
I have never seen such a number of policemen around at any function and the armoury.
And most of the protesters were the usual street vendors who normally join each and every protest and they moved in with bicycles as a symbol of the protest as and many people were glued to their offices and jobs.
There were more protesters on the social network than on the actual protest.
Despite massive advertisement and awareness of the protest, it has failed to pull the support it intended.
Initially the protest aim was to force government to give a clear explanation why the country is facing the fuel crisis.
However last week Thursday the government explained the reasons why the country was facing fuel shortage.
A snap survey conducted by Malawi voice has revealed that many Malawians were not keen on the protest as the main reason was not good enough.
There are more pressing issues to Malawians not only fuel.
According to some, they hoped that all issues which were included in the pastoral letter should have been included, not only fuel which the government has already solved and there is no point in protesting.
Another said there was confusion on the main reasons of the protest as others were calling for Bingu to resign and this was a step too far for many Malawians as they don't feel that way.
George Makawa from Ntcheu said ''Yes, fuel has been a problem but I don't think the government has done badly.
All people wanted was an explanation and solve the problem which has been done and am not keen on the protest itself.
" There was no need for the government to deploy 250 heavily armed police to the demonstration but its understandable as a precaution and this just shows Malawi is a peaceful nation and demonstration is not a Malawian way of dealing with pressing issues as very insignificant number of people attended the protest.
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