Malawi police has said they will provide security and protect people to avert potential clashes with governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets are holding parades at the same time civil society organisations (CSOs) are set to hold demonstrations on Thursday to protest the results of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
DPP has been granted permission by Blantyre City Council to hold what its regional governor Charles Mchacha dubbed ‘ Victory Parades’ on the same day the CSOs under the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have planned to hold their protests. HRDC have had their permission in Blantyre rejected.
However, in the capital city Lilongwe HRDC has informed the authorities its plans to hold the demonstration which have an endorsement from opposition parties and quasi-religious organisation Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo, who is among the lead organisers, warned that they will not tolerate any “enemy of progress to come in with their confusions” on Thursday.
Mtambo said the DPP have organised their parade as a deliberate measure to provoke the people protesting against election results.
He said they will not allow DPP cadets “to propagate their strange and violent culture in Malawi.”
But National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the law enforcers will provide security to all marchers “regardless of political affiliations.”
He urged the protestors to operate within the law.
The DPP has long opposed protests, with its cadets on the eve of the July 20 2011 nationwide anti-government demonstrations driving around in Blantyre wielding pangas and threatening all those that wanted to take part in the protests.
On April 26 2018, DPP cadets also paraded in Blantyre, inconveniencing motorists and pedestrians alike along the way.
Blantyre City Council public relations manager Anthony Kasunda said President Peter Mutharika’s party was the first to ask for the permission on June 4 2019 and his office could, therefore, not grant the same to latecomers HRDC whose notification came on June 10.
HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said among the issues to be raised in the Thursday demonstration is calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.
The CSOs argue that Ansah and her commissioners failed to manage the May 21 Tripartite Elections which were marred by irregularities, including the use of Tippex to alter some results sheets.
Voting in the tripartite elections took place on May 21 in 5 002 polling stations nationwide and DPP President Peter Mutharika was declared a winner seven days after the voting, securing his second five-year term.
The results have, however, been challenged by Mutharika’s main contenders, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party, who have called for the nullification of the presidential poll, arguing some anomalies were overlooked.
The two parties have both filed their cases at the High Court in Lilongwe whose hearing starts on Wednesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :