Malawi’s President Chakwera Cuts Tanzania Trip Short

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has returned a day earlier than planned from his state visit to Tanzania as rights activists in the country prepare for protests on Friday.

Chakwera returned to the country on Thursday. Local reports said the nationwide protests on Friday would have marred Chakwera’s return.

The Women Manifesto Movement (WMM) says President Chakwera has failed to meet the agreed 60:40 gender ratio in public appointments.

In a speech marking his first 100 days in office on Monday, the president said he needed more time to meet that target.

Mr Chawera was seen off by his host President John Magufuli on Thursday.

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The group wants Chakwera to reconstitute the boards of directors of parastatals in order to increase the representation of women.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) was expected to join the protest. National co-ordinator Luke Tembo told the radio station that they could not sit and watch things fall apart. The Lilongwe city council has approved the protest.

Chakwera upset gender activists on Monday after he said at a news conference that there were few women who were well qualified, and he challenged gender activists to give him the CVs and directory of qualified women to appoint them.

Activists lamented the exclusion of women in the appointments of several boards of parastatal organisations. He is also accused of overlooking the youth.

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Chakwera faced a public backlash for not wearing a face mask against Covid-19 while in Tanzania.

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