It seems that things have settled here. The main online source of news is now available again within Malawi (and for future reference, when a site is blocked based on your location/IP, you can access it through http://www.hidemyass.com). The official death toll is at 18, and burials are taking place today. The coverage in the international media has been disappointing, both in terms of its quantity and its content. For example, BBC has reported on the “riots” in Malawi, rather than the “protests” or “demonstrations”. Word choice matters.
Apparently the president is in Zomba today for a police graduation. However, there are so many rumors all the time, it’s hard to know what is true. What seems apparent, though, is that this whole thing is not over. In Bingu’s speech yesterday, he had a thinly veiled threat aimed at the organizers: “Those of you who have started this, I know you.”
I also heard that the next protests are planned for August 17 — 30 days after the civil society organizations filed their demands. Unfortunately, Joachim is scheduled to land in Lilongwe on August 18, so if things go the same way again next time, I probably won’t be able to pick him up. We’ll crass that bridge (or road block) when we get there, I suppose.
So far, town sounds more active than in the past few days, so I’ll probably venture in to the market soon to buy some bananas and matches. Life goes on.