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HRDC promises 2 weekly demonstrations

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By Taonga Sabola:

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said it would be holding demonstrations every Tuesday and Friday for three weeks, starting from next week, to force Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.

Two rounds of demonstrations took place on June 20, July 4 and 5 2019 but Ansah refused to step down, branding calls for her to quit as mob justice.

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Briefing reporters in Lilongwe Thursday, HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said if Ansah does not resign after the three weeks, they would increase the intensity of weekly demonstrations to four.

“We will be calling the appointing authority to exercise his prerogative to relieve Dr Jane Ansah and her entire commission of their duties.

“The demonstrations will be on July 16 and 19 [2019]. Should she refuse to resign, we will continue with demonstrations across the country every Tuesday and Friday of every week for three weeks,” Mtambo said.

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The HRDC chief said his institution was dismayed by futile attempts by regime sympathisers to play the gender card in their calls for Ansah to resign.

“We are not timid to say that our call for accountability is and will always be gender blind,” Mtambo said.

HRDC also demanded the immediate release of its members, Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka, who were arrested on allegations of fraud on Tuesday in Lilongwe.

Economics Association of Malawi President, Chikumbutso Kalilombe, said the local economy was small, and therefore, easily affected by the protests.

“We, thus, hope for a quick resolution to the current political situation as the same will allow for more certainty going forward. However, we still believe that, for long-term considerations, we have not yet reached a stage where the country could be described as perpetually politically unstable. This is a crisis that most hope will be resolved in the short-term,” Kalilombe said.

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