Malawi President directs security agents to stop protests

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has ordered Malawi Defence Forces(MDF) and Malawi Police Services to stop the planned airports and border districts shutdown set for next week which has been organized by some Civil Society organizations-CSO’s under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coliation-HRDC.

The HRDC has organized protests from 26th to 30th August in all airports and border posts aimed at forcing embattled Chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC Justice Jane Ansah to resign.

Speaking on Wednesday in Mangochi district when he commissioned MDF warships, Mutharika said using what he described as ‘necessary force’, the two security organs should stop the HRDC planned demonstrations.
“As a Commander in-Chief of MDF and Malawi Police Services I have directed that they should all they can to stop these demonstrations. If they will disobey this order from me, then whatever will happen there, they shouldn’t think I never warned them,” said Mutharika angrily.

But HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo has trashed Mutharika’s remarks, saying we will not tolerate politics of intimidation in a modern Malawi.
” I think Mutharika is being ill-advised. Our demands all along have been so clear: We demand electoral justice on our votes thus why we want Justice Ansah to resign because we believe she did not do her work well. So we won’t allow anyone to intimidate us. Our plans are intact: we are going ahead with our demonstrations and no one will stop us from doing that because this is our birthright as provided for in our Constitution,” said Mtambo.
Meanwhile a renowned University of Livingstonia-based Political Analyst George Phiri has faulted President Mutharika saying his tone is not reconciliatory.
People in the southern African nation led by Human Rights Activists, have been holding these protests to force Justice Ansah to resign for allegedly messing up the May 21, general elections whose results are currently being challenged in court by Malawi Congress Party-MCP President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and United Transformation Movement-UTM leader Dr. Saulosi Chilima.

But Justice Ansah, also a Judge at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal has, vowed not to step down until found guilty by the court.

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