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No more dialogue until Ansah resigns—UTM

UTM has said it will not take part in the ongoing mediation which the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) is championing until Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah resigns from her position.

This was disclosed yesterday when Pac met UTM President Saulos Chilima in Lilongwe to give him feedback of what transpired during the meeting Pac officials had with President Peter Mutharika on Monday.

After the meeting which was held in camera, UTM publicity secretary Joseph Chidanti-Malunga said they are also of the view that the dialogue should continue after the constitutional court hearing the elections case makes its determination on the matter.

“Our stand is that we are not going to continue with the dialogue unless Mec chairperson resigns. So we have said let her resign then we are going to go into dialogue,” he said.

In an interview spokesperson of the mediation team Bishop Gilford Matonga confirmed what Malunga said.

“We gave them a request for a face to face dialogue. So while he [Chilima] is agreeable to dialogue, he is not in agreement to dialogue at the moment as there are still issues at the court and also the demand that he made that Ansah should resign has not been met,” he said.

In the morning, Pac met officials from the Human Rights Defenders Coalition and chairperson of the coalition Timothy Mtambo also stressed that their call to have Ansah resign still stands.

“We hear that the President [Peter Mutharika] is ready for dialogue but he says he wants us to stop demonstrations for him to meet us for a roundtable. But we are saying as long as there are bad things happening, we are not going to stop demonstrations.

“We want Jane Ansah to go. The case which is in the constitutional case is a different matter and we are not party to that case,” he said.

Bishop Thomas Msusa said it was critical for the parties to meet and discuss before the constitutional court makes its ruling on the matter. He also said that it is also critical for the parties to discuss issues of peace ahead of the court outcome.

Pac has meanwhile organised peace prayers on Saturday in Lilongwe where all the parties have been invited.

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