HRDC seal MEC offices, next is MBC: March peacefully

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) held peaceful demonstrations and sealed Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) offices in Blantyre to push for resignation of its chairwoman Jane Ansah and all commissioners following a landmark judgement that annulled last May’s presidential elections.

HRDC officials sealing MEC gates in Blantyre
Protesters have began marching in Lilongwe. They are marching peacefully.

The court last week overturned the results that saw President Peter Mutharika narrowly re-elected, citing widespread irregularities — especially the “massive” use of correction fluid known as Tipp-ex on tally sheets.

The judges ordered a fresh presidential election to be held within 150 days from February 3 2020 and an investigation into the operations of the electoral commission.

The Constitutional Court also found that less than a third of the results from the more than 5,000 polling stations had been certified by the auditors by the time Ansah declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race.

HRDC which has been holding protests since the Tippexed elections demanding Ansah’s resignation organised the protests in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

Ansah has defiantly said he will quit if the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal upholds the February 3 2020 Constitutional Court judgement that nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election for massive irregularities.

In Blantyre, led by HRDC southern region leader Masauko Thawe, the protestors sealed MEC offices after marching from Kamuzu Stadium peacefully.

Speaking to the protestors, Thawe warned that they will move next to ‘shutdown’ Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for its hate-filled messages, gutter journalism and propaganda.

“Next it will be MBC,” he warned.

In Lilongwe, led by HRDC national chairperson Timothy Mtambo, the protestors matched peacefully under heavy police presence.

Mtambo said “the hour has come” to get lid of those bedevilling the country’s democracy.

“This change movement is like a killer virus; it will spread and will not be unstoppable. Viva Malawi!” Mtambo told the crowds who brave cold weather with rain drizzles.

Appearing before a special parliamentary committee on Wednesday, Ansah said she saw nothing wrong in her commission accepting sheets that were altered with a correction fluid known as Tippex.

She claimed the results on the tally sheets were not altered but corrected.

“There is no evidence to show that Tippex was used to favour one candidate,” she said.

“What I can say is that the High Court ruling is not a final ruling. There are some issues the commission does not agree with [in the ruling]. That means a second eye, the Appeal Court.

“The issue is that if the commission does not appeal, it means the commission is agreeing that it was wrong to declare a winner based on first-past-the-post. The commission worked within the law that was there,” said Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.

Another MEC member Mary Nkosi, who appeared before the committee on Monday, admitted that the commission mishandled the contentious elections.

Nkosi claimed Ansah went behind the commissioners’ back and authorised altered result sheets.

“I did not see the justification to this. But there was an apparent rush to have the results put together and announced,” she said. “It was a big let-down”.

Veteran diplomat Vernon Mwaanga of neighboring Zambia  has since hailed the Malawi , saying it  raised the bar for African countries where elections are plagued by irregularities.

“The Malawi judicial system has raised the bar of constitutionality and integrity on the African continent, which I hope will be emulated by other countries, including Zambia,” Mwaanga said.

“It has also shown how important it is for petitioners, who feel aggrieved by outcomes of presidential elections to be heard from beginning to end.”

In the case, two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections—UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima (the first petitioner) and Malawi Congress Party candidate Lazarus Chakwera (the second petitioner)—asked the court to nullify presidential election results over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system. Mutharika was the first respondent with MEC as the second respondent.

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SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

If You failed to close the Airports, you can not close MBC, MARK MY WORDS. MBC is a protected place, if you want to be shot dead by the Security Forces you think are supporting you then dare to come near the gates of MBC. Mtambo has no mandate from Malawians his authority is coming from MCP. If President Mutharika will allow you to close MBC then he is a very weak President not fit to occupy that seat, even the closing of MEC is a very big blunder not to be allowed in any Democratic country, those who were… Read more »

Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

Mr Saunders, u don’t wish Malawi better.Tell Jane Ansah to step down, that’s what people are asking.You should know that citizens of any country has power to vote for a leader they want. If people wants to close MBC , they can close it. Do you that police and the Army are there to make sure that there is peace in the country. Police officers want a better Malawi , good salaries not Ma K100,000.They deserve better.If there are politicians at MBC, it should be closed. Journalists are the ones that should be at MBC.Dpp inapeza MBC, ndipo DPP yidzatha… Read more »

Chilipa Thako
Guest

Tiyeni tiononge dziko lathu ,Jane Ansah mukulimbane nayeyo ali ndi chilichonse moyo ndi osangalala ,ndalama ali nazo si osauka ngati nkulu uyu wa bvala jeans top pa chithunzipa akuoneka kuti nkhope yake ndi mabvuto okhaokha ndiye akuona ngati kuti akatseka mec ndiye kuti apeza ndalama kuti nkhope yo futsikayo isalala kupusa sikungapose apa kaya .Anzanuwo akulandira kangachepe akasokhanitsa dzitsiru ngati idzi kuti muvakache mu nseu osapindula kanthu kkkkkkkkk

Ace Jay
Guest

You dont know what you are saying. if you dont understand what is happening, close your voice space. If you are fighting, it doesnt neccessary means you must be better off than the one who is irresponsibly running the public office.

let Ansah Go.

MBC should also put the house in order. Otherwise, I will only go for Steve Maseya and Hope Chisanu. We must teach them whats MBC mean.

Kaitano kagalu
Guest
Kaitano kagalu

Alibe chilichonse Jane mukunenayo nanu inu, Kodi bwanji kukulila pa chinena cha Mai eti? Some times I wonder if you are a man,if you are then you sound like a gay, ubulutu anakula kobasi. Those who are getting what they are fighting for it is ok, but those who are fighting for freedom,they are rich than those who are getting their reward today, so get lost!

Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

How are you going to solve all that mess at MEC ? By just sitting waiting for problems to solve themselves, this is madness.

Vilhomwe Ndivimbuli
Guest

Let’s go to MBC, very soon

Chilungamo Chimawawa
Guest
Chilungamo Chimawawa

EXCELLENT MOVE TO SHUTDOWN MBC!!! ANYAPAPI A DPP!!!!

Soso
Guest
Soso

YEEESSSSSSS MBC! MISONKHO YATHU KUMAPANGIRA PHADA. MWAYESA NDI BINGU BROADCASTING COOPERATION.

Pwiya
Guest
Pwiya

So, it means amaphwanya zinthu aja anali a Dpp. Since chigamulo kuwagwera pamphuno akhala chete, sanabwere kudzasokoneza ma demo by looting

Kaitano kagalu
Guest
Kaitano kagalu

Eeetu, funso labwino koopsa, bwanjidi pa Dem awawa sipanakhale zipolowe bwanji? Anthu awa ndi amphawi koopsa, akamalankhula pano utha kudziwa kuti uyu,alibe kalikose

Political Observer
Guest
Political Observer

BRAVO GREAT MAN TIMOTHY MTAMBO AND YOUR TEAM, MALAWI NEEDS COURAGIOUS PEOPLE LIKE YOU.IMAGINE A MALAWI WHERE LATE SIMBI YA MOTO CHAKUFWA TOM CHIHANA, CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF THE 1992 AND THE LATE SAM MPASU, SPEAKER OF 2003, ALEKE BANDA AND OTHERS REMAINED SLEEPY AND COMPROMISED TO THE ONE PARTY SYSTEM OF DR BANDA AND THE OPEN TERM WISHES OF DR BAKILI MULUZI, COULD WE HAVE THE MUTHLIKA POLITICAL DYNASTY TODAY? A BETTER DEOMCRATIC MALAWI NEEDS BULLDOZERS , D7s LIKE YOU.

Wakututuwa
Guest
Wakututuwa

I fear the HRDC is taking advantage of the anger in Malawians to go beyond what is provided for in the Law for a civil society to do. By Law HRDC cannot close MEC or MBC in the name of Demos or else they risk serious legal consequences. Unless the judiciary favors them, only them can they go free. But as it is now. Freedom of assembly and demonstrations is never ever implied to meet to do whatever the group wants. As it is, they have vested interests. Malawians should wake up and be careful on how such incidents are… Read more »

Hrdc representative
Guest

Waste of time. MEC is. Free to come to my house to hold their meeting’s.its my house,I built it with my own money and for that I have full control

Opportunist
Guest
Opportunist

Well done HRDC

Cadet
Guest
Cadet

i know you that you are posting from Kent England

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