There was drama in Lilongwe Wednesday when organisers of a scheduled anti-government demonstration, Human Rights Ambassadors, failed to show up for the protests.
This was despite that one of the lead organisers of the protests, Redson Munlo, told The Daily Times that the march was on.
The demonstrations were scheduled to start from Wakawaka Trading Centre along the M1 Road to force President Lazarus Chakwera to call for a referendum or that he and Vice-President Saulos Chilima should resign for failing to fulfil campaign promises.
There was heavy presence of Malawi Defence Force soldiers and police officers at the proposed starting point as early as 8am.
Munlo had earlier indicated in a telephone interview Wednesday morning that things were not working in Malawi; hence the call for Chakwera and Chilima to call for a referendum or resign.
Later in the day, however, Munlo could not pick our calls as we tried to follow up on why the demonstrations had failed.
After waiting for the demonstrators for close to four hours, the soldiers and police officers left the scene.
The High Court sitting in Lilongwe had given ‘liberty’ to Munlo to lead peaceful demonstrations in Lilongwe but the court restrained Kingsley Mpaso and HRA from participating in the protests.
The organisers had sought the court’s intervention after Lilongwe District Commissioner Lawford Palani blocked the demonstrations on grounds that the law enforcers would be busy manning filling stations.
Mpaso and HRA were restrained by an injunction that had previously been obtained against them.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.