The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters on Wednesday blocked Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) demonstrators in Blantyre who wanted to petition Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Electoral Commissions Forum (ECF) delegates meeting in Blantyre.
DPP supporters converged at the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds where Minister of Agriculture Kondwani Nankhumwa was opening the Agriculture Fair
While the protesters were heading to Mount Soche Hotel in down town Blantyre where Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is hosting the Sadc ECF conference to Friday in Blantyre.
As DPP cadres attacked protestors, they started pelting stones at each other which led Police to fire teargas towards HRDC marchers which included opposition leaders UTM vice president Michael Usi, Allan Ngumuya and Bon Kalindo from the same party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) campaign director Moses Kunkuyu.
HRDC executive members McDonald Sembereka and Billy Mayaya were leading the protests.
Police fired teargas inside Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (Qech) where some protesters had sought refuge inside the perimeter.
A pregnant woman collapsed outside the hospital and had to be evacuated by protesters.
Activist Mayaya was also severely injured after being attacked by DPP cadets and is receiving treatment at the hospital, according to Sembereka.
He said Police raided Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in pursuit of protesters, where they continued to fire teargas canisters near Children’s Ward.
One child was affected with the teargas and died, Sembereka said.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholous Dausi said on Times Radio that he could not immediately comment because he was in Lilongwe.
“Let me follow it up and come back to you,” Dausi said when interviewed on telephone by Times’ Brian Banda.
Since MEC chairperson Jane Ansah declared Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate President Peter Mutharika winner of the May 21 presidential race, HRDC has been leading a series of nationwide demonstrations and vigils demanding the resignation of Ansah and her commissioners.
They allege that the electoral process was flawed, citing use of correctional fluid to allegedly alter figures on results sheets as one of the problems.
Mutharika’s challengers, his former vice-president Saulos Chilima who contested on UTM Party ticket and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera, are also challenging the results in court. A five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court is hearing the case.
Ansah, a jusge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, is on record as having said she will not resign unless the court finds her in the wrong.
Mutharika also told BBC that he cannot fire Ansah.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :