Aug. 9 (GIN)-The famed charity that aims to end world hunger has quietly withdrawn an award it planned to give to Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, as he is now facing growing citizen demands for clean government and better living conditions.
At least 19 people were killed at a pro-democracy rally in the country on July 20, and more than 275 people were arrested across the country.
The move by the Hunger Project to cancel the prize is the latest blow to Mutharika. It follows the suspension of a $350 million United States aid program last month over what officials in Washington, D.C., said were “deep concerns” over recent events in the southern African country.
Another protest is planned for Aug. 17. The president has urged people not to take part.
“Tell the organizers that enough is enough. Are you going to accept that your children die on the 17th? Do not accept or you could be shot,” Mutharika said.
The Hunger Project will go ahead, however, with awarding a prize to Liberia’s minister for agriculture, Florence Chenoweth, who studied and received a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She will receive the 2011 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End to Hunger at a ceremony on Oct. 22 at New York City’s Chelsea Piers.