Malawi police fire tear gas at over 2000 anti-government protesters

Malawi police on Friday fired teargas to quell an anti-government protest over alleged corruption and economic mismanagement by President Lazarus Chakwera’s administration.

Images and video clips of protest organiser Bon Kalindo, a well-known comedian and politician, who now calls himself the “voice of the voiceless” are in wide circulation on social media, showing him fleeing the protest scene.

Police say they had secured an agreement with Mr Kalindo to call off the protest after it emerged that there were rival groups fighting among themselves and also perpetrating violence against onlookers.

But Mr Kalindo said no such agreement was reached, and that is why he proceeded to lead the protests.

Huge clouds of tear gas were fired in and around the Blantyre business district, where there are banks, hotels, shops and offices bringing business to a stand still.

There has been a sharp rise in the price of basic commodities in Malawi recently, but government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has defended President Chakwera, saying the rising cost of living was a consequence of global trends after world economies took a hit due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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