Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has announced the cancellation of the Tuesday demonstrations, but will instead hold them on Thursday.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo made the announcement Monday afternoon at a news conference held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe
“We delayed to serve relevant authorities with notices of our intention to demonstrate to state residences and we also need to change routes and add numbers,” Mtambo said
Commenting on the cancellation, governance expert and commentators Makhumbo Munthali said it is unfortunate that HRDC leadership delayed to announce the postponement of the demonstrations.
“This does not reflect well on them and often gives room to speculation that perhaps they have been compromised,” Munthali told Nyasa Times.
Besides, Munthali said the delay is also contrary to the Commission of Inquiry of July 20 2011 demos report which clearly recommended that organisers of demonstrations must strive to provide timely and effective communication to the public in event there is postponement or cancellation of demonstrations to avoid causing violence
“It is therefore important for HRDC to always realise that while they are providing leadership to these demonstrations they must always be mindful that they are doing this based on trust with the majority of Malawians who are of the view that the elections was compromised.
“As these are issues of public interest, and as such they need to always be transparent and accountable to the people in the manner they are discharging such a leadership including providing constant feedback to the people,” said Munthali.
The governance expert advised HRDC to always demonstrate a high sense of maturity and responsibility,” and must always strive to be consistent with their script while of course being flexible where necessary.”
During the news conference, the HRDC leaders vowed not to pay for any damageof property destroyed during the June 20 nationwide demonstrations, arguing that they are not responsible as the duty to protect citizens and their property falls on the Malawi Police Service (MPS).