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Demonstrations set for September 18

Timothy Mtambo

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said it will hold a fresh round of anti-Jane Ansah nationwide demonstrations from Wednesday to Friday next week.

The development follows the expiry of a 14-day moratorium which Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale, obtained against the demonstrations.

Briefing reporter s in Lilongwe Wednesday, HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said it was worrying that the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) chairperson was clinging to her position.

“We are equally disappointed that President Peter Mutharika has not fired Ansah. We, therefore, would like to inform the nation that we have organised a fresh round of demonstrations from September 18 to 20 [2019]. These demonstrations will be held nationwide and will be peaceful. It is our hope that the government will consult us on the way forward,” Mtambo said.

He said they had dubbed the new round of demonstrations ‘Two Million March’.

Mutharika recently told British Broadcasting Corporation that he could not fire Ansah, saying the matter to do with May 21 tripartite elections was in court.

HRDC last week asked Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee to initiate the move to fire Ansah.

HRDC and officials from the AG’s office last week agreed on issues regarding the conduct of the demonstrations.

The meeting agreed that police should deal with deviants during demonstrations and that the protests should not lead to total government shutdown.

They also agreed that political party leaders should not be allowed to address demonstrators and that negotiations must take place among all stakeholders before demonstrations.

Meanwhile, the police in Lilongwe Wednesday arrested a man, only identified as C Kafumbwa, who was allegedly trailing Mtambo in Area 10 just after the press conference.

“The man was following us and our security officers, remembered him as one of the persons who had run away at Crossroads Hotel when it was discovered that he wanted to bomb our vehicle. As our security officer wanted to ask him why was he was trailing us, he started running away and that is when our security officers caught him. As he was running away, he dropped his Malawi government identity card,”Mtambo said.

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