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Demonstrations on, Timothy Mtambo says

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Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has announced that countrywide demonstrations, meant to push for Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah’s resignation, will run from Wednesday to Friday.

Addressing members of the press in Lilongwe Monday, Timothy Mtambo said the demonstrations would take place in all 28 districts.

He said HRDC decided to hold the nationwide demonstrations following an injunction which Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), National Oil Company of Malawi and Malawian Airlines obtained at the High Court against holding such protests closer to airports and border posts.

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Mtambo said, meanwhile, they were working on vacating the injunction.

“What is painful is that people are using our own taxes to pay lawyers and work on injunctions at the court. You cannot say ‘let us discuss’ yet another branch of the government is going to court. All Malawians who are mourning should come out to hold demonstrations,” he said.

Mtambo also said groups of unknown people have been following him and his deputy Gift Trapence on a Toyota Prado.

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Meanwhile, some pastors calling themselves Pastors Standing in the Gap have appealed to the protestors to demonstrate peacefully.

Reverend Kilion Shawa, who is the group’s chairperson, said people should demonstrate in a way that does not infringe on other people’s rights.

“Demonstrations are a constitutional right but a demonstrator also has a responsibility to demonstrate in such a way that other people’s rights are not infringed upon. We are not against the demonstrations, we say ‘let us carry on’ but we are worried with breaking of people’s properties,” he said.

During the previous round demonstrations, most grocery shops were looted in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

Some 26 people have dragged HRDC to court for damages to property worth K500 million.

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