Rare anti-government protests in Malawi

27 April 2018 - 16:16 By AFP
Malawi's President Arthur Peter Mutharika. File Photo
Malawi's President Arthur Peter Mutharika. File Photo
Image: Jewel SAMAD / AFP

Thousands of Malawians on Friday took part in the country's first nationwide anti-government demonstrations since 2011, with peaceful protests held in six cities.

The marches, organised by civil action groups, were against alleged corruption and poor governance under President Peter Mutharika, who has ruled the country since 2014.

"Peter should resign!" chanted crowds dressed in red, as they were accompanied by a heavy police presence in Blantyre, Lilongwe and other cities.

Some members of Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had threatened to disrupt the protests, but the event passed off without clashes.

At the July 2011 anti-government protests, police opened fire killing 20 unarmed civilians in scenes that shocked the country and saw international donors cut aid.

Malawi is one of the world's poorest and most aid-dependent countries.

Former president Joyce Banda is expected to return to Malawi on Saturday after four years of self-imposed exile, despite facing the threat of arrest over corruption allegations.

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