A group of civil society organisations under the banner Civil Society Joint Platform on Good Governance has organised a new series of demonstrations termed “demonstrations for peace” to counter plans to shutdown airports and border posts by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
HRDC announced at a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday that in their relentless quest to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign, they will shut down the country’s major airports and border posts.
The five-day shutdown is slated for August 26 to 30 2019.
But at a news conference on Thursday morning in Lilongwe, Civil Society Joint Platform and Governance ‘s spokesperson Phillip Kamangira said their demonstrations have been organised to counter ‘violent’ anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations that HRDC have been leading.
“We can’t sit back and watch violence, plunder and destruction taking place in our country. Attacks on innocent citizens, law enforcers and businesses can’t be condoned anymore,” said Kamangira.
He said the planned demonstrations for peace will start on 23rd August 2019 and will go on until order is restored.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo told journalists in Lilongwe on Tuesday that organisers of mass demonstrations will not relent.
He said: “We told them last time during mega demonstrations that we will hold demonstrations at the airport. Instead of leaders listening to Malawians, they are intimidating us; we will not stop holding demonstrations until she resigns.”
Malawi Police Service (MPS) spokesperson James Kadadzera said the law enforcers expect HDRC to follow right procedures to hold demonstrations and vigils as planned.
According to HRDC, the protests will be held at all border posts in Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba, Mchinji, Dedza, Mangochi, Mwanza and Mulanje districts as one way of expressing dissatisfaction over Ansah’s decision not to resign despite several calls that she should do so.