HRDC backs down from Malawi airport, border protests: Hit with K0.5bn demos damage claim

The  civil society organisations (CSO) groups under the banner Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) called off planned  demonstration at the country’s airports and border crossings which was to start Monday to Friday to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign after the court ordered a ban.

Mtambo (2ndL) with other activists slapped with K500 million lawsuit

HRDC and opposition parties are behind the protests against the disputed May elections, which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected.

High Court Judge Jack N’riva on Friday  granted an order sought by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)  to ban the protest actions at the country’s international airports and border crossings.

HRDC vice chairperson Gift Trapence  said  they would abide by the court decision and the protestors will not close down frontiers.

But Trapence said they will keep protesting until Ansah,  who is also a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal resigns for allegedly presiding over an electoral process marred by irregularities in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

“We can assure Malawians is that the battle [to demand Ansah resigns]  is still on,” Trapence said. “The constitution guarantees the right to demonstration.”

The week which was expected to be dominated with fresh post-election demonstrations aimed at shutting down key transport hubs,  on Monday  started relatively calm and business is as usual.

HRDC is planning  demonstrations from Wednesday to Friday this week to be followed by a “two million march” in the four cities of Mzuzu, Zomba, Lilongwe and Blantyre on September 5 this year.

Thousands of Malawians have taken to the streets of various cities in recent months to protest the results of the May 21 elections, in which Mutharika was declared winner with 38.67 percent of the vote.

The Constitutional Court is currently hearing a case brought by the opposition to have the election results annulled over irregularities.

Meanwhile, some  individuals whose property was damaged in the course of the  anti-Ansah demonstrations held on June 20, July 4 and July 5  have dragged to court  HRDC  and human rights activist for damages to property worth K545 802 450.

The 26 claimants, through lawyer Chancy Gondwe, claim their property and business merchandise were  damaged or looted by demonstrators.

Among the people who have lodged a complaint are Joe Thomas Nyirongo (first clamant) who claims to have lost property worth K105 million. The property includes Aunt Tine Lodge and Stone House Lodge.

Dennis Moyo also claims in the summons that property worth K150 million was damaged at his house during the demonstrations.

The respondents in the case are HDRC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his deputy Gift Trapence, Billy Mayaya, Masauko Thawe, Madalitso Banda, Thoko Mapemba and Beatrice Moyo, with the eighth defendant being HRDC.

Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi also said  government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) will claim for damages to property from HRDC.

Dausi directed the MDAs to obtain expert reports on the value of losses and damages and estimated costs for inclusion in the legal claim.

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CLIVE STANBROOK
Guest

WHO PAID MULLI ??? CSOs or GOVT.

Sahara
Guest
Sahara

The government paid mulli K3 billion, paid MEC K4 billion. What’s stopping the same government to pay K0. 5 billion to the stakes who lost their property? After all it’s all taxpayers money and we taxpayers approve the payment of K0. 5 billion. Ine wokondedwa taxpayer.

OPANDA MBALI
Guest
OPANDA MBALI

HOW MANY MALAWIANS ARE THERE IN THIS COUNTRY? ITS EASY TO REFUND.. 38.67% VOTED FOR APM.. TIYENI TIWASIYE PAMBALI. THE REMAINING 61.33% MUST PAY FOR THE DAMAGES NOT JUST HRDC… MOREOVER THERE ARE VIDEOS OF LOOTERS ALL OVER THE SOCIAL MEDIA… THE POLICE MUST DO FACE RECOGNITION AND CAPTURE THOSE FELLOWS BECAUSE THEY DAMAGED OUR PROPERTY… IT IS NOT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IT IS OUR PROPERTY WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. MWATANI KODI

Nabetha
Guest
Nabetha

YOU BROOD OF VIPERS, stop waisting people’s time and money, your buddies tried to silence Twaibu Sangala and co, they tried to silence Njauju and Chasowa look now how many are coming out for you? Can n’t you see that it not working??? Use your brains. When you remove justice and replace with oppression, you begin to fight against the God deposit that lives in every individual.Once their will is awakened the next is revolution /change……think about Mugabe, Hitler, Saddam etc

Mwananyanian
Guest
Mwananyanian

Suing is the approach and ensures enjoyment of democracy is also accompanied by responsibilities.
But, I am surprised at the low balling of the damage: only 0.5B? The damage has to be in the ball park of ten times that! Set the amount, like 50B, and let the Courts decide.
And also let those irresponsible foreign donors will pay on behalf of Mtambo and co.
Penalty should be either fine, replacement costs like the 5B, or jail time.

SUNDU
Guest

MALAWIANS ARE STILL SLEEPING —-STUPID —- FORGET EASILY —–PETER AND HIS ZEALOTS ARE BIG CROOKS —-JANE ANSAH IS BEING FORCED NOT TO RESIGN BY PETER HIMSELF —-CHALLENGING NDILIBE POLOBOLEMU —-NDIPATSENI MADZI NDINGAKOMOKEPO INEYO !!! ALL THESE ARE PROVOCATIVE /CHALLENGING WORDS —

SUNDU
Guest

ALUTA CONTINUA !!! Naaa TIPPEX Ndeee TOTooo !!

COPS
Guest
COPS

Using this as a deterrent to future demos?? hahahaaaaa sorry buddies it won’t work. This is a revolution, no one and i mean no one will stop it. Pamberi Democracy!

Niboo
Guest
Niboo

No COPS!, This is to explain to any Malawian who does not understand that peaceful demonstration does not mean looting, degrading( Undressing police women) Malawians! If you ransack petrol stations! if you break into shops and steal you have to be answerable. The bills are coming my friend and think very carefully about causing havoc in our country! very carefully.

Nkhuzi
Guest
Nkhuzi

HRDC had their routes communicated and also that the duty of MPS is to protect people and property whether demos are on or not. MPS has evolved into just protecting DPP, ignoring their mandate to be available to all Malawians and property. It is in this spirit that claiming is done against government for failing to protect people and property, but specifically it must go to whom government has mandated to policing services, hence claim be done to them. We have in the past seen government compensating some companies meaning that the standard was already set.

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Precedence was already set by the government
for paying Muli Mk8billion as compensation to damages of his property during demos.

So Gondwe suid the wrong people in the name of HRDC. This is another time wasting for claimants, just patch the government straight away . Our taxes are ready to be abused by Peter and Co. to compensate you.

Njolo mpilu
Guest
Njolo mpilu

oo yeah ku airpirt with the same old kanseu like kopita ku manda a mfumu . it sucks when you see that gate kha mmati cani with a long cue when pipo are trying to get on time for their flights. ku chileka kalikoso? and you see the attendants maso a dzimwe akaona nzungu kumuomba .we saw that and drove behind him stopped somewhere up the road!!! yeah real conning people. by the way can someone just make it 2 lanes in and out please. we got no time to be penalised on such cues or we are waiting for… Read more »