Several structures including a police unit were torched down by angry protestors in Malawi as the forth demonstrations to force Jane Ansa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission reached climax yesterday, across the country.
People in this southern African nation led by human rights activists demand the commission Chairperson to resign for allegedly messing up the May 21, general elections .
But Ansa, also a Judge at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal has, however, refused to resign until found guilty by the court . But the protestors have also challenged to keep on demonstrating until she steps down.
The yesterday’s protests started peacefully but the situation soared after some hours as the protesters started targeting government and rulling party structures.
In the northern regional city of Mzuzu, the demonstrators burned down a police unit and Regional office for the rulling DPP before soldiers from the Malawi Defense Forces rushed to quel the situation.
Still in the region, police had yo fire teargas to disperse the rioting protestors in Mzimba and Karonga districts . But in retaliation, the demonstrators stormed houses of the police officers and started beating up their family members.
In the capital Lilongwe, the demonstrators burned some government offices as they returned from presenting their petition to the State House.
They also burned tyres on the road to the President’s house . The police had to fire teargas to disperse them though the police conduct worsened the situation.
In Blantyre and zomba cities, the protesters marched peacefully though with heavy presence of the soldiers .
The military took control of the demonstrations in all places , a move which helped to reduce the damage by the protesters .
Some demonstrators we spoke to in Lilongwe and Blantyre said they enjoyed being controlled by the army because they are neutral than the police.
“We can no longer trust the police because they are serving the rulling party and not Malawians,” said the protesters..
Timothy Mtambo, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition which is orgnising the protests said the demonstrators will go back on the streets if the president is not responding to their demands by Tuesday.
“We want to thank the army for their professionalism during these protests, The Malawi police has failed us , it is acting as the rulling party’s security team,” he said.
He said Malawians are hoping for protection of their freedom in the army and judiciary which is presiding over the Elections rigging case by two presidential candidates against the Malawi Electoral Commission and President Peter Mutharika.
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