Malawi in flames as demo turns ugly: Looting and violence recorded in elections protests

The demonstrations organised by civil society organisation (CSOs) who are calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah on Thursday turned ugly in the capital of Lilongwe and northern city of Mzuzu.

Anti-Ansah demo in Mzuzu
Anti-Ansah demo

In Lilongwe, demonstrations started well  but as protesters were about to reach the Capital Hill Roundabout, they started demolishing the renovations happening at the place as First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s  Beautify Malawi Trust was putting statues as part of the renovations for the Roundabout.

“Demonstrators demolished the statues before stealing pipes from a planned water fountain,” said one eye witness.

Before people knew it, some people have already rushed to Spar Supermarket where they smashed the glass door to snake their way through and looted groceries.

Spar is near an electronics shop called M1 Electronics where the protesters also smashed their way through and stole different materials.

In Mzuzu, a building between veterinary and Mzuzu prison was also burnt.

And Mzuzu Agriculture Development Division (ADD) were also looted and about 200 bicycles were stolen in the process.

Mzuzu ADD programme manager Wellington Phewa said the marchers also had broken into their officers and went away with bicycles which were meant to be distributed to agricultural extension workers in Mzimba.

Malawi Defence Forces soldiers from Moyale Barracks intervened after police failed to quell the situation.

The soldiers stopped the marchers from storming the Mzuzu Prison ostensibly to free prisoners.

“We want to free inmates, we have criminals in power enjoying our tax so let us all be free out here,” said one of the protesters.

The protesters widely cheered MDF soldiers for protecting them and ensuring no violence takes place unlike the police’s heavy handedness.

The protesters were seen  breaking offices, including those of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom). Commercial banks located along Mzuzu’s dual-carriageway Orton Chirwa Highway were not spared as NBS Bank, Standard Bank, Nedbank and First Capital Bank branches were affected.

The demonstrators also demolished perimeter fences for some buildings, smashed vehicles and shops, including Airtel Malawi and TNM plc kiosks.

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In Blantyre, smashing of property has not been reported except running battles between the MDF soldiers and suspected DPP Cadets.

This comes after the Malawi International Trade Fair scheduled to take place last month was postponed when some countries pulled out citing political instability.

Some commentators have since said that if this type of violent demonstrations continues, it has the potential of scaring away investors thereby shrinking the economy of the country.

The CSOs argue that Ansah and her commissioners failed to manage the May 21 Tripartite Elections which were marred by irregularities, including the use of Tippex to alter some results sheets.

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Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
1 year ago

I agree with Piper tikakunthana ndipomwe dzikoli litukuke coz aziopa kubaku wina akakhalanso President m’mene yapangira Rwanda akuopana zedi.

dalo
dalo
1 year ago

Munthu ongoganizilidwa kuti anaba nkhuku akuzunzika ku ndende why awa okuba zochita kuonekelatu akuyenda monyada and kumalalatanso?? Army musanyengelele muchotseni uyu akufuna kubweletsabe umphawi wa dzaoneni kuno kwathu ku malawi,sanali kunotu awa ai…

dalo
dalo
1 year ago

This is what the so called president want,greedy and munthu ukakhala kuti sunakulire kwanu you dont know how to treat ena this is exactly what is happening ndi Peter,he just took advantage of malawian because achimwene awo anakokeledwa ndi muluzi look now these theives zamva kukoma ndalama zakuba misonkho yathu sakufuna kuchoka why???

KHARUPA
KHARUPA
1 year ago
Reply to  dalo

Mukuona ngati enawo ayambitsa ziwawazi chifukwa ninji? Nawonso akufunitsitsa abe misonkho that is why akulimbikira.

Vulgar
1 year ago

Malawi means flames. Flames means Malawi. But still, ‘tippex is king’.

Dr in CPT
Dr in CPT
1 year ago

This is the beginning of the slide towards being the poorest and the most miserable country on earth, if we are not already. We will be worse than Yemen or Somalia

Piper
Piper
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr in CPT

It’s the beginning of liberation man. If you’re rock bottom, the only way is up ! It can’t get any worse that it already is !

User
User
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr in CPT

No ways. This is good for our democracy

yumbu
yumbu
1 year ago

rubbish matchers

THE APOSTLE
1 year ago

YES YES YES ZILIBO DZUKA MALAWI DZUKA WINA ATHAWIRA KU USA…….

Chisomo
Chisomo
1 year ago
Reply to  THE APOSTLE

Zoona tatopa nazo

JOSEPH CHAGOMELANA
1 year ago

KUFUNA KUKOLOLA PAMENE SIMUNALIME, KKKKK ZAMANYAZI

TOSH
1 year ago

THE CAUSES OF THIS IS THE STUBBORNESS OF JEZEBEL JANE ANSAH

Mbolo Zanyini
Mbolo Zanyini
1 year ago

I really like the move to free all prisoners as those in power are looting billions of tax payers money with Nobody, even the police officers paying attention to it.
Our prisons are for those who steal little things likes of chicken, bunch of banana etc.
Let them be freed. or they join politics out here so that aziba mwaufulu

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