Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has rebuffed former President Bakili Muluzi on his call for a meeting to discuss the coalition’s plans to hold anti-Ansah protests at the country’s ports of entry.
HRDC has planned to hold protests at the country’s borders and airports from August 26 to 30, as one way of forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.
Former president Muluzi wrote HRDC that he was against the planned protests, arguing they will paralyse the country’s already fragile economy.
In his letter on Monday, Muluzi first sympathised with HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo whose house in Lilongwe was petrol-bombed by unknown assailants last week, before he delved into the impending protest.
The former leader proposed that the meeting should take place on Friday or Saturday this week, before the planned protests scheduled for next Monday.
Reads the letter in part: “For the sake of this country, may I propose another meeting between your team and myself to find solutions to this impasse. We should endeavour to work at finding solutions that will keep our country together.”
But Mtambo, while thanking Muluzi for sympathising with him on the arson at his home, said the HRDC has no time to engage in dialogue that lacks clear direction, saying after engaging Muluzi last month, they expected him to report to the country on the meeting which he held with President Peter Mutharika so that the citizenry is aware of what transpired.
“We are not going to have any dialogue with him [Muluzi] until he gives us a feed back of what he discussed with Mutharika,” said Mtambo.
“We will not waste time with any form of dialogue that has no direction. We are not going to dialogue for the sake of it,” he added.
But Muluzi said he wants to use the meeting to tell the HRDC what he discussed with Mutharika.
A political and administrative studies lecturer at Chancellor College Mustafa Hussein has said the HRDC is justified to snub a meeting with Muluzi, suggesting that the former president must bring together all players-Mutharika, Ansah and HRDC.
The HRDC has been holding demonstrations since the announcement of the May 21 presidential election results to force Ansah to resign and pave the way for investigations to identify and prosecute those who supplied Tippex used to alter elections figures.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, has dismissed calls for her to resign for allegedly mismanaging the presidential election, saying she would only step down if the court hearing an elections petition case found her leadership to have failed to discharge its duties.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :