CSOs June 20 demo ‘ ill-timed’: Activists urged to desist from ‘mob justice’ tactics

Civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) which have organised nationwide mass protests on June 20 to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other commissioners to resign have been criticised that their planned demonstrations are “premature and ill-timed.”

CSOs leaders: Demo premature and ill—timed

The Catholic University-based political scientist Nandin Patel and a leading daily newspaper, The Nation, in its editorial comment have asked asked for electoral stakeholders to first wait for court ruling on the election case results before condemning Ansah.

HRDC’s demand comes two days after UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who is the country’s immediate past vice-president, added his voice to calls for the immediate resignation of Ansah on Friday for allegedly failing the nation.

During a news conference in Lilongwe on Friday, Chilima, who finished third with slightly over one million votes, said his party has gathered evidence of misconduct by the head of the electoral body.

But in its extended coverage of the mass protests and calls for Ansah to quit, The Nation, editorial comment stated that the CSOs and parties should give justice a chance.

The paper pointed out that despite the fact that the country’s supreme law of the law – the Constitution – gives Malawians rights, including freedom of assembly and expression, the conduct of taking to the streets to protest the results when there is a court case pending to be premature.

It said that since the matter of electoral dispute is in court and the judiciary has since appointed a five  judge panel to sit as a Constitutional Court, the planned  demonstrations are “premature and ill-timed.”

Instead of taking to the streets, the daily  implore the respective leadership of the CSOs and political parties to “ desist from engaging in mob justice tactic is that can easily be perceived as exerting undue pressure on the justice system.”

Other observers have also asked the CSO’s not to jump into so many protests when they have not yet taken to the streets as promised against business mogul  Abdul Karim Batawarara’s Commercial Agency and Reliance Trading Company over a signed uniform supply contracts with the immigration department in 2012 when they want to be paid over K54 billion when their contracts’ total price was just over K9 billion.

“The CSOs promised to hold demonstrations on this. What happened that they didn’t take to the streets. They need to be investigated ,” remarked  Atwell Kabungwe in Lilongwe.

Meanwhile, Catholic University-based political scientist Nandin Patel, also quashes for anti-Ansah demonstrations and demand for her resignation until the court makes its determination.

“Look, let’s look at elections as a whole process, everyone says from registration to voting, the process went well. I don’t deny that there have been irregularities but look, the matters are in court and let’s wait to see the court outcome first and then that should inform the calls for her to resign or not,” said Patel in quotes reported by the press.

University of Livingstonia political analyst George Phiri also expressed reservations on the timing of the demonstrations.

Governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali said the Constitution guarantees the right to demonstrate anytime provided the right procedures are followed but advised that the demonstrations should have waited for the court’s decision since the courts are already handling it.

National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the police are ready to provide security for the demonstrators once clearance has been given by relevant authorities for the planned demonstrations to proceed.

In Lilongwe, HRDC plans the demonstrations to start from Lilongwe Community Centre ground through Mchesi-Kamuzu Central Hospital-Parliament to Civic Offices while in Blantyre, the planned route is from Kamuzu Stadium upper ground through Masauko Chipembere Highway to the Blantyre district commissioner’s office.

In Mzuzu, the demonstration is scheduled to start from Katoto via Mzuzu Clock Tower to the Mzuzu City Council Civic Offices and in Zomba from the community ground through Mponda Primary School ground to Zomba District Council offices.

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Bristone Mabichi
Bristone Mabichi
1 year ago

Now that the President says that he was robbed of votes, which direction do we take now? Judges should just agree withe incumbent to RERUN. He had more votes than 1.9 million. We need to recover his votes. KKkkkkkkiest!!!!!

Lilian Kaunda
Lilian Kaunda
1 year ago

we do not have any official complaint from the DPP. what the president said was that he thinks he was robbed in the central region and they were investigating. For now we dont know whether his allegations are true or not until they finish investigation and submit their complaint to EC. For now let us just treat this as mere political rhetoric.

Noxy
1 year ago

Abale anzanga mpira ukamaseweredwa ndiye referee akuti awa agoletsa ndipo awina,uja woluza angamabwere aziti wawina ndi iye.Ndiye kuyishoshatu

Central
Central
1 year ago

Zachisoni pa Malawi pomwe court likulangiza a police kuti the Malawi constitution guarantees citizens with freedom of demonstrations according to Section 38 and no one has authority to bar Malawians from demonstrations not even the District Commissioner. Rather Police and the DC are just INFORMED on the intention to hold demonstrations here we go National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera insisting that the police are ready to provide security for the demonstrators once CLEARANCE has been given by relevant authorities for the planned demonstrations to proceed. Kadadzela and MPS in general what clearance are you implying here? Kodi inu ma Judge… Read more »

Baba Tunde
1 year ago

I am surprised to see that all vocal Civil Societies and women groups including Lawyers that fight for women are silent yet they see the full time abuse of this innocent woman Jane Ansah who is being rebuked, terrorized and ignored for no wrong doing. Just because she did her job accordingly but the job did not favour the opposition, then she is a reject. Women groups where are you? Are you not the ones who made a lot of noise when Mchacha said of Mahule in UTM? Why are you so segregative? I am very much disappointed with you.

hlupo sibande
hlupo sibande
1 year ago
Reply to  Baba Tunde

MADANDO 148 Congratulations Mr President for joining us TIVOTANSO Kuti asapezeke olila

Central
Central
1 year ago
Reply to  Baba Tunde

Nanunso inu, have you ever worked with any women group? The women groups never align with unfair, nonindependent and decisions that impange on Malawians just because the decision maker/culprit is a woman like Jane Ansah, NO!! The groups are full of professional and neither side with women cadets nor political parties but wisdom! Ukagwere uko ndi u cadet wakowo wamvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Bristone Mabichi
Bristone Mabichi
1 year ago
Reply to  Baba Tunde

It is not all situations that women rise up to counter. I wish you were at COMESA hall and see what was the reaction of women when cadets were found with wrong materials shielded by police. Never think they are daft, they know what is going on. Imagine a woman whose 12-point daughter committed suicide because she did not make to university because of Muthalika’s quarter system which is to fall, how could she react knowing who she voted for???????????????????????????????????????????

WCM
WCM
1 year ago

This woman must go, she has failed.

katayeni chitutu
katayeni chitutu
1 year ago

what do you expect from Malawians,this lady is so arrogant

#NotMyPresident
#NotMyPresident
1 year ago

I do not agree with you political analysts and journalists. You already know what the court outcome will be. It will shield Mutharika to continue the theft of people’s morality. So those that want to protest, their right is inarguable and inalienable. Let them do it as they see fit as long as they do protest within the confinement of the law. There is no problem. The only problem is in Malawi, these protests do not work because the leaders simply choose to ignore them and they still get dubiously elected. These leaders will start to take hid when 1… Read more »

Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
1 year ago

These are different issues court is for nullification of elections & demos are for Ansah’s resignation for tippexing Malawi Zosiyana kwambiri mai Nadin.

Zenai Kalabo
Zenai Kalabo
1 year ago

What nonsense! Each and every Malawian has a right to demonstrate his/her displeasure or pleasure with an issues, it does not matter whether others are seeking legal redress or not. Those who chose the route of the courts let them be those who would like to express themselves through demonstration also let them be. No one is a referee here to decide who and when can one do what? CSOs on with the DEMONSTRATION ON 20 JUNE 2019 I am behind you 101%!!!!!!

Jakison Laanje
Jakison Laanje
1 year ago

So, what does this mean? Are the CSOs only reacting to Chilima’s comments. They were afraid to be branded Chakwera boys. Is it not the same HDRC that is also part of the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN)?. And, the MESN results matched those of MEC (https://www.facebook.com/mesnmalawi/ ). These guys just want money for school fees. And, are these organizations democratic? These guys have been in power of these CSOs for ages. Don’t they have a constitution to step down. I am sure other people in these organization also want to eat now. Time to change leadership too. They aren’t… Read more »

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