Malawi police have warned that it would use force to break up any street protests on Tuesday because no City authority has granted permission to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to conduct demonstrations in view of property damage and police lack of capacity to prevent the same.
HRDC has been organising protests to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and her commissioners to resign.
The grouping planned what they call mega demonstrators on Tuesday in cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. In Lilongwe the protests could spills to Wednesday with a two-day vigil at Capital Hill – the seat of Malawi government.
Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose insisted on Monday that the law enforcers stock to their hunts stopping HRDC from proceeding with protests following violent and criminal acts during the demonstrations.
He said the HRDC’s court application challenging the police prohibition was not heard by the High Court as it has been differed to August 19 2019.
Police chief warned that with no permission to hold protests any demonstrations that may be held on Tuesday shall amount to unlawful assemblies.
Jose warned that the Malawi Police will use all the force “as is necessary to deal with such illegal demonstration.”
Riot police will be deployed on the streets of Blantyre, Mzuzu and Lilongwe on Wednesday on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, government is appealing
members of the general public not to be tempted to join an “illegal demonstration” on Tuesday.
The State says police will deal with anybody who wants to disturb the peace and security through illegal demonstrations.
Authorities point out that the protest would be illegal because HRDC had not got permission from authorities or the police whose role it is to give final approval.
The government has accused the rights group of working with opposition parties to create a lawless society.
HRDC argues that it is unconstitutional and a typical case of power for police to stop Malawians from exerting their constitutional right to peaceful and unarmed demonstrations.
But police said organisers should consider the responsibilities to the tights when the protests have been turning ugly with looting and violence.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :