Pro-govt gangs hit Malawi streets ahead of protests

BLANTYRE - Gangs of machete-wielding pro-government youths took to the streets of Malawi's commercial capital on Tuesday, a day ahead of planned protests against President Bingu wa Mutharika, who is accused of autocracy and mishandling the economy.
Witnesses in Blantyre in the south of the landlocked southern African country described the deployment of the youth wing of Mutharika's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a clear attempt to stop Wednesday's planned demonstrations.
"It's scary. They have literally blocked the main road and are sharpening their knives right on the tarmac and threatening everyone," a bank executive, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.
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