The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written foreign embassies in the country notifying them on their proposed anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations to take place in the country’s airports and borders from 26-30 August 2019.
The airport shutdown will take political crisis in Malawi a lurch for the worse as President Peter Mutharika has said the demonstrations are about usurping power from him.
Mutharika warned that he will take all necessary measures to defend and protect the country’s airports and borders from those who want to disrupt them and has since directed the police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to stop “these demonstrations” and use “necessary force”.
But HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence on Thursday August 21 despite Mutharika threats to stop the demonstrations, notified embassies of Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe about the demos.
In a letter seen by Nyasa Times, HRDC states that the decision to hold protests in the airports follows government’s failure to heed to people’s demands to fire Jane Ansah as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson.
“We regret any inconveniences this may cause, but it is our hope that our government will heed to the demands of citizens,” reads the letter in part.
The grouping has also notified border district councils of Dedza, Karonga, Mwanza, Mchinji and Ntcheu of the same.
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.