Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leaders have said the country has reached point of no return and they will not relent until demands of the people, which include forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah to step down, are met.
The leadership, led by chairperson Timothy Mtambo, was speaking Saturday in Karonga at a citizen rally the coalition organised to interact with people as part of awareness on the need for peaceful demonstrations.
Mtambo clarified that this was not a political rally but engagement with people as they are also drafting a citizen manifesto.
“They will come for us, but we will not go back. The people who fought for our freedom wanted us to be free, that we should have power in whatever that is happening. It’s a point of no return,” he said.
Mtambo, who spoke fluent Lambya, a local language in Chitipa District, warned those involved in attacking others with petrol bombs that they will soon regret, describing the acts as barbaric.
This past Thursday, some unknown assailants petrol-bombed Mtambo’s home in Ishalikira Village,Traditional Authority Mwaulambya in Chitipa.
Mtambo was in company of his deputy Gift Trapence, regional leaders Billy Mayaya (Central Region) and Happy Mhango for the North during the citizen rally.
Taking his turn, Trapence said HRDC will not accept that the country’s hard fought democracy should be controlled by few individuals.
Trapence emphasised to the gathering that HRDC is not political, hence people must stop associating it with political parties.
He said they are currently engaging lawyers on how they can handle an injunction which the High Court in Blantyre granted to Malawi Revenue Authority restraining HRDC from holding their planned demonstrations in the country’s ports of entry.
This was the first citizen rally that the coalition has held ahead of Wednesday to Friday demonstrations, dubbed 2 million protests.
HRDC has been organising series of demonstrations since the announcement of presidential election results for the May 21 Tripartite Elections. The grouping accuses Ansah of overseeing what they describe as a fraudulent electoral process.
The rights group has been agile in spearheading protests for the citizenry in recent years, and at one point even petitioned the Peter Mutharika led administration with 10 action points they wanted capital hill to address.