CSOs clash on demonstrations

By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Barely hours after Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) announced the sixth round of anti-Jane Ansah protests in all border posts and airports in the country, Joint Civil Society (JCS) has also announced what they are calling for a nationwide peaceful march.

On Tuesday, HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, told journalist about its intention to hold a protest at all border posts and airports from August 26 to 30 2019 because Ansah has not resigned.

Wednesday, JCS also announced what they were calling for non-stop nationwide peaceful march from August 23 2019.

Speaking during a press briefing Wednesday, JCS Chairperson Bright Kampaundi said they had organised the peaceful march against HRDC, accusing it of wanting to hijack the country.

“We cannot let a few individuals hijack our country; hence, our grouping organising the march for peace,” Kampaundi said.

JCS member Fryson Chodzi accused HRDC of double-standards, as a few days ago, they promised to shelve the demonstrations to give Malawians a chance to follow the court proceedings only to make a U-turn.

However, Chancellor College-based political analyst Ernest Thidwa said Malawians were paying the price of leaders’ indecision.

Thindwa said while the demonstrations were a constitutional right, Malawians needed to be encouraged to express their concerns against unacceptable government action.

“Demonstrations organisers need to pay particular attention to those elements in society that have a different agenda and take advantage of security lapses during the demonstration. The credibility and broad-based support for demonstrations may wane if such violent acts are not decisively tamed,” Thindwa said.

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