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National

March to State House on—HRDC

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Gift Trapence

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, has maintained that demonstrations, scheduled for today, will still target State residences.

At a press briefing Wednesday, Mtambo said the coalition would deliver a petition at Kamuzu Palace in the capital despite Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive Officer, John Chome, refusing to grant them permission saying such a place is protected.

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“We are aware of the law. Section 38 of the Republic of Malawi Constitution, as read with section 103 of the Police Act, enjoin us to enjoy this right and, as such, we shall endeavor in the course of the demonstration not to parade ourselves within the 100 metres from the precincts of the State House,” Mtambo said.

He said protesters in other parts of the country would deliver petitions to district councils.

Mtambo said the coalition wants to engage the Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament to intervene in the matter.

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“The committee has the mandate to recommend to the President to remove anyone appointed. So with this matter, we believe it can assist us. We did not engage them earlier because it has just been constituted,” he said.

HRDC eventually obtained an injunction at the High Court in Lilongwe against LCC, allowing the demonstrations to take place today “but the petition shall be delivered at a place not less than 100 metres from Kamuzu Palace”.

In Lilongwe, the demonstrations will commence from the community centre to the State House.

HRDC Vice-Chairperson Gift Trapence said Democratic Progressive Party supporters organised a victory march to State House recently and nothing could stop the organisers from doing the same today.

The coalition has further assured the public that the protest would not affect court proceedings on the electoral case adjourned to today.

HRDC has been calling for Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah’s resignation accusing her commission of allegedly mismanaging May 21 Tripartite Elections results.

The organisers held discussions with former State president Bakili Muluzi at his BCA residence in Blantyre on Tuesday when they refused to curtail the demonstrations until Ansah resigns.

Meanwhile, Blantyre City Council has given a nod to HRDC to conduct the demonstrations from Kamuzu Upper Stadium to Clock Tower to the council’s offices to present the petition.

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