Malawi Police and Lilongwe district commissioner have jointly prevented opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from addressing whistle-stop meetings this weekend in the district.
The authorities told DPP that they are stopping the rallies due to security concerns because of the unpredictable atmosphere hovering in the capital city following police and council official’s actions of chasing vendors from plying their businesses from the streets.
DPP president Peter Mutharika’s personal assistant Ben Phiri confirmed the development.
“We informed all relevant authorities who include the District Commissioner, Police among others of our intentions but surprisingly we are being told ‘NO’. They are saying it is because of security concerns.” said Phiri.
“After that we thought of a court injunction but time was not on our side, let me appeal to the DC and the Police not to abuse their offices because political rallies are constitutional rights which noone should not tamper with.” said Phiri.
Adding: “We will hold our rallies next week .”
National police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said she has no information regarding the matter.
She aid the decision to block the rally was made by the DC as police has not given any advice to assemblies to stop rallies.
In Malawi permission to hold rallies are given by the office of district commissioners and the police only enforce decisions by the DC.
When it was in power, DPP used police to block opposition meetings.
Under DPP regime, Police fired teargas to stop a rally by United Democratic Front (UDF) which caused mayhem in Lilongwe’s Area 24 and they arrested UDF president Atupele Muluzi.
The DPP regime also blocked another rally in Dowa organised by the People’s Party leader Joyce Banda when she was the Vice President.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :