More demonstrations as case takes long
There is no direction from the Supreme Court of Appeal on how to conduct demonstrations following the case in which the Attorney General (AG) sued Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), organisers of anti-Malawi Electoral Commision (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah protests.
HRDC has planned another round of anti- Ansah demonstrations in Lilongwe today.
Last Wednesday, the court failed to deliver its ruling after the two sides reported what transpired in their preceding dialogue meetings.
An official at Supreme Court Registry told The Daily Times that the ruling would be sent directly to the parties.
However, The Daily Times inquiry to the AG’s office and HRDC lawyers shows that the judgment has not been sent and there is no fresh date for the judgement.
“The ruling has not been sent to us. We are just waiting to hear from the court,” HRDC lawyer Geoffrey Taumbe said.
Neverson Chisiza from AG’s office said they have not moved to stop the demonstration saying the matter is already before the court.
“At this stage, we do not have any remedy because we already went to court. We cannot go to court on a matter we already brought the courts, otherwise we are just waiting to see what the court says,” he said.
HRDC has been organising the demonstrations to force Ansah to step down saying the commission mismanaged the May 21 tripartite elections results.
During last week’s demonstrations in Blantyre, police officers fired teargas canisters to disperse demonstrators from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital premises, inconveniencing unsuspecting and helpless patients.
Meanwhile, HRDC has said the latest round of the demonstrations will take place in Lilongwe from today to Friday.
Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe Monday, HRDC Executive Committee member Reverend Macdonald Sembereka said the demonstrations will take place in three phases, starting with the four-day protests in Lilongwe.
“Phase one starts here in Lilongwe, phase two is expected to take place in Blantyre and phase three will take place in Mzuzu. We will start from our usual place, the Lilongwe Community Centre up to Parliament and Capital Hill. This is Lilongwe shutdown,” Sembereka said.
HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said the coalition was aware that some have taken advantage of the demonstrations to attack the demonstrators.
He cited what happened in Blantyre where Democratic Progressive Party supporters beat up and injured HRDC’s Billy Mayaya.
Mtambo said the new round of demonstrations is also in honour and solidarity with Mayaya who is still in agony.
“We take our stand against the police because what happened in Blantyre only shows how doomed the nation is. This is why we are saying that members of Parliament should not confirm the new Inspector General of police Duncan Mwapasa,” he said.