The civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalitions (HRDC) have asked President Peter Mutharika to address the nation on concerns raised in their petition they presented at Kamuzu Palace during the recent demonstrations, saying silence on the matter will lead to another gear of mass protests.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said key demand in their petition is pushing for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah or the President should relieve her duties at the commission with her team for allegedly mismanaging the presidential poll.
.Mtambo said their next move is to take the demonstrations to the country’s airports and borders.
“We indicated that the next demonstrations will be staged in strategic places such as airports and border posts so that the government gets our message clearly,” said Mtambo.
He said President Mutharika’s adviser Mabvuto Bamusi, who received the CSOs petition, promised that the President would address the nation on the concerns contained in the petition.
“Now that the President has not addressed the nation, we have all the reasons to push on with our agenda,” he said.
Since Mutharika took oath of office on May 27, the HRDC in collaboration with the opposition has been leading Malawians to protests to force the MEC Chair to step down.
More public and private buildings and property have been destroyed following the post-election protests.
Commentators say the damage runs into hundreds of millions of dollars in Malawi whose GDP is around six billion dollars.
They warn that the demonstrations and its damage are going to depress the Malawi economy and worsen the poverty level which is about 50 percent of people living below the poverty line.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who is also the country’s immediate past vice-president, as well as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, have consistently taken part in recent protests.
Coincidentally, the two politicians are also co-petitioners in a case where they are seeking nullification of the presidential election results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections for alleged flaws, especially in the results management system.