Businessmen challenge Wednesday’s demos in court

The Malawi High Court is today [Monday] hearing an injunction by two Blantyre based businessmen who want to block the planned Wednesday protests in the country’s major cities.James Willie and Rodrick Makapu want the court to stop the demonstrations because of the potential threat to national security and their businesses. They claim the demonstrations are unconstitutional. The July 20 demonstrations left 19 people dead. Rights groups have planned a second wave of country-wide protests demanding that President Mutharika explains his wealth, restores diplomatic relations with Britain – former colonial masters – who have since frozen budget support to Malawi, joining many other key donors in a show of protest against the worsening governance record. The groups are pushing the popular opinion that the President also reinstates four university of Malawi lecturers who have been sacked for leading a campaign to restore academic freedom in the institution.