Mutharika: Malawi’s political uncertainty, tension forces postponement of international trade fair

Written by  Felix Mponda

Malawi’s 31st international trade fair set to run June 20-30  has been postponed to August 6-15 this year due to political uncertainty and tension, President Arthur Peter Mutharika said Sunday.

Now set for August 6-15 when clouds are clear. Now set for August 6-15 when clouds are clear.

At a DPP victory rally he addressed in Mangochi for the eastern region, Mutharika said six Chinese groups indicated  they were not coming to participate in the fair because of political instability caused by the court challenge of the presidential results by two opposition parties MCP and UTM.


The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) last month declared Mutharika as the winner of the May 21 vote after he cruised with over 150,000 votes to defeat his main rival Lazarus Chakwera of MCP. Saulso Chilima of UTM trailed third.


Mutharika said Malawi was getting a bad name because of the demos by the opposition against his win and the court case, which is due to start Wenesday in Lilongwe at the constitutional court before five high court judges.


Both MCP and UTM are seeking nullification of the presidential result, claiming the vote was rigged by MEC by declaring Mutharika the winner before complaints were addressed.


The President appealed to the opposition to stop violence and “love the country.”


He said MCP supporters in the Central Region invaded Capital Hill and forced civil servants to close offices, were beating people from the South, were destroying infrastructure including the newly-opened Kasiya Road and six primary schools.


“I am asking Pastor Chakwera to stop this violence and accept that he lost," Mutharika said.


Meanwhile, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) the organisers of the  fair, confirmed that only Zimbabwe were ready to participate, but Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and China withdrew thrir participation citing "existence of political uncertainty and tension." 


The MCCCI said:" In view of these developments we had taken the decision to postpone the fair until August 6-15 by which time we hope the clouds will have cleared."


The  fair will be held under the theme "Achieving Competitiveness through Integration into Regional Value Chains."

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