Chakwera cuts short Tanzania visit

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Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera will be in to witness the first show of demonstrations against his government over unequal appointments to public positions.

In a statement, Presidential Press Secretary Brian Banda confirms that Chakwera will arrive at Kamuzu International Airport Thursday afternoon after curtailing a three-day visit to Tanzania saying he has other engagements here at home.

It comes as Friday's demonstrations being championed by the Women’s Manifesto Movement are gaining momentum.

The protests are meant to push for the appointment of women in public positions and will take place in the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

President Chakwera’s recent appointment of various statutory boards has attracted widespread criticism over his failure to accommodate enough women.

Commentators are also faulting the president for disregarding gender rights activists’ calls to review the appointment of various parastatal boards to achieve a legally stipulated 40:60 gender representation.

The 50-50 Campaign Management Agency notes that appointment of women is a constitutional mandate which does not need pushing from other stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) is offering to join forces in the demonstrations against what is being seen as a raw deal in as far as women representation in public positions is concerned. 

The grouping's National Coordinator, Luke Tembo says that they cannot just sit and watch things fall asunder.

This will be the first nationwide demonstration to be held under the Tonse Alliance's administration three months that it has been in power.


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