Malawi police in Lilongwe Police have been fighting running battles with protestors after the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) proceeded with demonstrations as Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale has rushed to Supreme Court of Appeal to seek an order to stop demonstrations for causing violence after judge Kenyatta Nyirenda dismissed his application.
The Attorney General is set to fight on as he believes that while the judgement in the High Court was well-meaning and made on the point of law, the substantive constitutional matters and the rights of the majority remain unattended to.
There is a feeling that the judgement does not address the real substantive matters which the Attorney General raises before the Court.
Some commentators have warned that Malawi was on the verge of a “very dangerous situation”.
Government contends that the country should not continue to allow these violent protesters to make use of the constitutional right to protest to conceal the ulterior motives of opposition parties fronting the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
HRDC is continuing with its series of nationwide protests to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansah to resign for presiding over flawed May 21 Tripartite Elections which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected.
A team of non-violence civil society has already reported the opposition to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for inciting and causing violence. They have also written Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State who is on record for declaring that the election was “successful” and that President Peter Mutharika is the legitimate leader whom the US Government is set to support.
Meanwhile, former president Bakili Muluzi said he is arranging meetings with Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who is also the country’s immediate past vice-president (May 2014 to May 2019) to continue pursuing his mediation drive to resolve the post-election stalemate that has left the country engulfed in tension.
Muluzi said he has already talked to both of them and “they have agreed for us to meet.”
The former president, who last week stepped up the arbitration drive by separately meeting President Peter Mutharika and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), said he would not discuss the substantive matters of the dialogue, but indicated that there was progress in the quest to bring the parties together for the good of the country.
Since May 27 when Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah declared Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as winner of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections with 1 940 709 votes representing 38.57 percent, tension has engulfed the country and, in some cases resulting in protests marred by looting and violence.
Results MEC announced put Chakwera on second position with 1 781 740 votes representing 35.41 percent and Chilima third, ahead of four other aspirants, with 1 018 369 votes representing 20.24 percent.
Chilima and Chakwera have since filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the presidential election results. They cite alleged flaws in the results management process as one key factor for their case.