Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi and Minister of Information Mark Botomani have a addressed a news conference on Friday assuring that all airports and land borders will remain open and operate normally despite Human Rights Defenders Coalition’s (HRDC) planning five-day demonstrations targeting the country’s port of entry and airports.
The two Cabinet ministers said people should know that there will be security to be provided by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Malawi Police Service (MPS)
Dausi said closing of borders is an act of treason hence government will do its best to protect the boarder.
“The government will strive to make sure that Malawi is a peaceful country and stable. We will not allow anybody to shut dhown the airports and loand borders,” said Dausi.
He said the planned demonstrations will have a negative economic effect to the country, citing the cancellation of International Monetray Fund (IMF) two mission visits to Malawi due to security concerns over political unrest.
The two ministers stressed that airports are protected places and areas according to a 22 August 2019 Malawi Gazette supplement of Government Notices Number 59 where the Ministry of Homeland Security has the power to make orders to declare airports and borders, Capital Hill protected areas.
“Plans to disrupt border and airports are not in the spirit of peaceful demonstrations. Clearly, they are an act of aggression with the aim of undermining the State and threatening national security,” said Botomani, who is also government spokesman.
He said government will not allow the national security to be breached and the rights of those not taking part in the demonstrations subverted.
“The point has to be emphasised that the right to demonstrate is not a supreme right. As such, government wishes to assure the general public and the international community that measures have been put in place to ensure that our airports an borders continue to operate normally during the period of the planned demonstrations,” Botomani said.
The Cabinet ministers statements come after President Peter Mutharika has ordered police and the MDF to “stop the demonstrations”, accusing the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM Party compatriot Saulos Chilima of attempting to take over the government unlawfully by supporting the HRDC demonstrations.
Mutharika said previous demonstrations the HRDC have conducted to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over flawed elections have been unlawful as they were marred with looting and attacks on people.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :