A planned meeting between Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Attorney General’s officers over issues surrounding the Anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations ended just a few minutes after it began.
Lawyer for HRDC Khwima Mchizi said the meeting convened at Lilongwe Civic Center was important but couldn’t proceed because of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) injunction aimed at stopping the protests.
The Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale was not at the meeting as he is attending to the ongoing elections petition case hearing at Constitutional Court in Lilongwe.
However, some officer’s from the AG’s office represented him.
The office of the AG started proceedings in the High Court of Malawi challenging the legality of the demonstrations. Alongside summons, they filed an application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the demonstrators from convening protests.
The application for injunction was heard on August 5 2019 and the court dismissed the AG‘s application which made him appeal at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal which determined the parties should hold a meeting to discuss the way forward.
Since May, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Malawi to demonstrate against the management of the election. The government has accused the protesters of damaging property and looting and has sought court injunctions to stop the demonstrations.
Recently, the minister of Homeland Security Nicholous Dausi said property worth millions of dollars had been damaged by protesters, adding that organisers of the demonstrations should bear the cost.
Next week, protesters, backed by the opposition, plan to shut down airports and borders.