MONKEY-BAY—People of Mangochi Monkey-Bay constituency, led by Malawi’s selfless politician Gerald Kazembe, will on Thursday hold peaceful demonstrations, in which among other things, they are demanding better and adequate basic social services from the government.
On Wednesday morning, there were uncertainties surrounding the expected peaceful march after the district authorities denied the people their constitutional right, arguing the country is already in a volatile situation.
However, the people who are fed up with unfulfilled promises from the government, sought court redress.
According to Kazembe, the demonstration is very important for the people of Mangochi Monke-Bay constituency and Malawi at large.
“It is a peaceful demonstration organized by the people of Monke-Bay regardless of party colours. Here people lack basic services such as education, health and water services. Delivering services to citizens is the core business of every government and if the relevant authorities are sleeping on duty, the citizens rise up and demand what belongs to them.
“When governments deliver services based on the needs of the people they serve, they can increase public satisfaction and reduce costs. That is why people of Monkey-Bay have decided to petition the government so that the relevant authorities should be aware of our priorities,” said Kazembe.
He added: “It must be noted that we are in a democracy whereby the power to rule the country is tapped from the people. The elected representatives are just there to implement the wishes of the people. Unfortunately, our leaders deliberately choose to do otherwise in their quest to become billionaires overnight. This is unacceptable! They run the government using tax money; better services from the government are therefore critical in shaping trust in and perceptions of the public sector.”
One of the organizers of the peaceful march accused Ralph Jooma of trying to politicize the march by asking the district authorities to deny the people their constitutional right.
“Our demonstration is not about DPP, MCP, UTM or any other political grouping. It is about our welfare and we will present our concerns to the government not DPP. Mr. Ralph Jooma must learn to separate DPP and government. These are two different entities,” he said.
Mangochi-MonkeyBay constituency is one of the constituencies in Malawi that is lacking social services. Some people are still denied an access to clean water and better education and health service. The problem has been lessened in some areas after the intervention of Kazembe who also took part in the disputed 2019 elections.
As a citizen and politician, Kazembe has initiated different projects using his own money in MonkeyBay. Using his own resources, people in Monkey-Bay now have access to clean water, he is feeding the very elderly at Msaka and Maudzu villages, and he has been paying for over 20 students in secondary school in his community.
He also commissioned a solar powered water pump worth K5 million which is benefiting a lot of people in the area.
Malawi’s health and education sectors are subject to well-known, long-standing problems. For instance, the government has repeatedly been unable to ensure a sufficient supply of infrastructure, essential materials (e.g. drugs, textbooks) and trained staff to meet the needs of most Malawians. Such shortcomings in the delivery of quality services are reflected in sector outcomes, such as low rates of school completion, deteriorating exam results, nationwide stock-outs of key medicines and persistently high rates of maternal mortality. Access to safe drinking water is undermined by erratic supplies in urban areas and the disrepair of many water points in rural areas.