Bloomberg News

Malawi Organizations Ask President to Resign or Face Strike

March 15, 2012

Civil-society organizations in Malawi said they would call on companies to strike unless President Bingu wa Mutharika resigns or calls a referendum to gauge his popularity within 90 days.

They also called on the government of the southern African nation to devalue the local currency, the kwacha, saying that the official rate of 165 per dollar is overvalued compared with the black-market rate of 300.

“We want the president to resign honorably within 90 days or if he thinks he is still popular, he should call for a referendum within the 90 days,” said Margaret Ali, vice chairperson of Human Rights Consultative Committee, a non- governmental organization, citing recommendations by organizations after a two-day conference in Blantyre. “Failure to follow this will call for mass action.”

Malawi is facing a political and economic crisis after some donors withheld aid last year after a crackdown by the government against protesters amid calls for changes to economic policy to end fuel and foreign-currency shortages. The southern African nation devalued the kwacha by 10 percent on Aug. 8

The currency was unchanged at 165.85 per dollar at 5:55 p.m. in Blantyre.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frank Jomo in Blantyre at fjomo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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