Malawi: Post-poll protests to resume, activists demand resignation of official

APA-Lilongwe (South Africa)

Malawi activists, grouped under the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), have vowed to resume protests next week meant to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chair Jane Ansah to resign from office due to her alleged mismanagement of general elections held in May.

HRDC deputy chair Gift Trapence made the announcement on Thursday, 24 hours after a 14-day court moratorium to stop country-wide demonstrations had expired. 

The Supreme Court of Appeal ban was obtained by the government of President Peter Mutharika, through Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale.

The court directed Kaphale and the HRDC leaders to hold talks and come up with solutions to enable future protests to take place in peace after earlier protests had resulted in violent skirmishes.

While the two parties were expected to return to the court to brief it on the outcome of the talks, Trapence said forthcoming demonstrations would take place because its goal – of removing Ansah from the MEC leadership – had not been accomplished.

Dubbed The Two Million March, the HRDC leaders said the protests would take place nationwide for three days starting from 18 September, with HRDC chair Timothy Mtambo telling reporters in Lilongwe that he was worried Ansah was still clinging on to her position as head of the MEC.

“We are equally disappointed that President Peter Mutharika has not fired Ansah. We, therefore, would like to inform the nation that we have organised a fresh round of demonstrations.

“These demonstrations will be held nationwide and will be peaceful. It is our hope that the government will consult us on the way forward,” Mtambo said.

Mutharika has publicly refused to dismiss the MEC chair, saying it was not his job to do so.


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