Malawian govt. blocks mourners from mass funeral

The Malawian government on Friday prevented hundreds of people from attending a mass funeral for...

A Malawian soldier patrols the deserted streets of Lilongwe, on July 21, 2011. Picture: AFP

The Malawian government on Friday prevented hundreds of people from attending a mass funeral for protesters killed in Mzuzu.

Soldiers shot dead seven people in the city in nationwide protests earlier this week.

On Friday, protests were planned in a number of cities with many locals showing their anger at the government policy and the president.

The official death toll now stands at 13.

Malawians are now trying to shake off the hangover left by the unrest, which locals say is uncharacteristic of this small nation.

One man told Eyewitness News that his ancestors would turn in their graves if they witnessed present day Malawi.

Calm has returned to main cities rocked by clashes with the police and the army.

According to the Civil Society Coalition's Benedicto Kondowe, protesters did not have any intention of creating an uprising. He said demonstrators planned to be peaceful and simply show their dissatisfaction with the president and his government.

Kondowe now hopes that the president will listen to their grievances.