The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating under the banner Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have condemned criminal elements who are using the social media to target local entrepreneurs, Asian business community and FDH Bank as concerned citizens hold fresh protests against the re-election of President Peter Mutharika, which they say was due to fraud.
Social media has been awash with a list of companies and individuals who are said to have propelled the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to victory.
A message was circulated calling upon demonstrators to deal with them and almost incite mob justice.
Some people have taken advantage of the political situation in the country to blackmail and tarnish the image of each other in business.
An observer said the list, which exclude Mulli Brothers, has names of companies which have never sponsored campaign and another business owner said all big contracts go through public tenders and single sourcing is always on special reasons and Public Private partnership is involved unless if it is Cashgate and he further encouraged those people who like envying those that acquire big contracts to emulate the idea of participating in public tenders other than creating fake stories toward each other.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that the protests they are organising is pursuit of restoring the destiny of Malawi through electoral justice.
“We want to remind all Malawians that our demonstrations are peaceful and not meant to target businesses, individuals and organizations,” Mtambo said.
“However, we have seen and read on social media platforms that some individuals want to characterize these demonstrations as an attack on Asian owned businesses and some banks such as FDH Bank. We have seen writings on social media calling on people to close their accounts held at FDH.
“We in no uncertain terms condemn these clandestine plans, which we can only describe as barbaric. We distance ourselves from this and would like to call upon the Malawi Police Service to arrest anyone seen to be vandalizing or encouraging people to loot and attack businesses using social media,” Mtambo said.
The CSOs urge police to use the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security 2016 Act which makes cyber bullying a crime.
Meanwhile, Indigenous Business Association of Malawi Chairperson Mike Mlombwa has condemned hate and envy towards each other’s businesses.
Mlombwa said its time as Malawians to show love towards each other.
On Thursday about 3,500 marchers headed towards parliament where a two-day vigil is planned against the result of the May 21 presidential vote.
Many shops were closed and police were heavily deployed.
In Blantyre, protesters said they had been attacked and forced to disperse by people wearing T-shirts showing support for the ruling DPP.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :