Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo has confirmed that his body is planning to hold citizen rallies aimed at discussing matters of national interest with Malawians as the battle to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah step down continues.
Mtambo said this while confirming the meeting between HRDC and a team of members from the office of the Attorney General (AG) scheduled for Friday August 30 2019 at the Civic Offices in Lilongwe to discuss the peaceful protests.
The office of the Attorney General will facilitate the meeting with HRDC and other stakeholders such as the Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force [MDF].
The meeting follows a Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal order on Tuesday evening that the two parties must, within 14 days, hold negotiations to on how HRDC can exercise the constitutional right to demonstrate without violence and crime.
“In the meantime, we want to carry out two or three citizen rallies where we will be engaging people on various issues” said Mtambo.
According to the HRDC chairperson, Malawians will be drilled on how to fight corruption, demand good governance and above all the need to be peaceful during demonstrations.
On Tuesday, Justice Lovemore Chikopa of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ordered that within a maximum of 14 days, HRDC is restrained from organising or convening demonstrations.
Reads the Order: “During the said time the parties hereto shall hold negotiations to determine a manner in which the respondents’ exercise of their rights in Section 38 of the Constitution can be without undue incidents of violence and crime.”
The order followed HRDC’s plan to hold three-day nationwide demonstrations after the High Court granted an injunction to MRA, Airport Development Limited and National Oil Company of Malawi, stopping the HRDC from holding five-day protests at the country’s airports and borders.