Malawi police yet to serve HRDC with demos ‘ban’ letter: Law expert rules out IG Jose

Officials from the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) say the Malawi police is yet to furnish the human rights activists a letter from the Inspector General of police Rodney Jose outlawing peaceful  demonstrations aimed at forcing beleaguered Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah  to resign for messing the May presidential elections.

Fire Ansah or persuade her to quit, otherwise protests across the country will continue to paralyse normal business

Vice chairperson of HRDC Gift Trapence said they would respond to the letter once the police gives them.

“Our grouping is yet to be furnished with the letter and when we get it, we will respond accordingly,” said Trapence.

Jose’s letter demanding a stop to the protests has drawn a backlash from a cross section of the society who say protesting is a Constitutional right.

Law expert Garton Kamchedzera said the police have no powers to stop protests, using the police clauses cited by Jose.

“The Constitution overrides the police Act,” said Kamchedzera.

Another lawyer Yasin Maone said the only time the protests can be suspended is when the Constitution is suspended and that can only be when the state of emergency is declared.

Inspector General of police Rodney Jose has told anti-Jane Ansah protests to suspend the demonstrations, saying both the police have failed to protect lives and property of people when the protests turn violent.

In a letter dated July 26, 2019 to HRDC, Jose also says the rights activists have as well failed to hold peaceful demonstrations.

“In view of the above, the Malawi Police Service, in exercise of its powers under section 105(1) of the police Act, demands that HRDC should forthwith stop convening demonstrations until such a time when it would be possible to convene and hold demonstrations. You are also required to convey this demand to members of the HRDC at all levels,” says Jose in the letter.

The letter says the HRDC sanctioned protests have been convened as peaceful; however, in all cases, Jose says, they have turned to be violent and have resulted injury to persons, extensive damage to property and looting.

“As you are aware, police officers have been attacked during these demonstrations making it extremely difficult for them to provide security to persons and property,” says the letter in part.

The police chief says the situation has been deteriorating with each new demonstration that HRDC convenes.

“It is thus evident that your organization is no longer able to convene peaceful demonstrations. On our part, we are unable to provide adequate protection for the people participating in these demonstrations and those affected by the same due to, among others, the hostile attitude of demonstrators towards police officers and criminal elements that have hijacked the said demonstrations,” says Jose in the letter addressed to HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo.

The rights grouping and opposition parties warn that that unless Ansah is fired or resigns protests across the country will continue to paralyse normal business.

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2 years ago

There is no such letter.

2 years ago

Ine ndakulupilira kuti ma cadet amatumidwadi

2 years ago

If police fails to provide security then the court can order MDF to do so! Dpp you have time and time again failed you think like std 8 kids with your callboy Minster.

Innoxy Charles
Innoxy Charles
2 years ago

Kkkkkkk!, very good article.Agalu apolisi mukunama kwambiri maka khoswe otchedwa JOSE iwe.

4444 Nooo
4444 Nooo
2 years ago

Let’s mix these,Tuesday we will do the demos for Ansah plus Jose all of you must fall
Jose the crowd is coming to Area 30 u r going.
The Police has no powers to stop us demonstrating,pls b4 u write or talk Ask,
We r fired up Now

Conspiracy of Fools
2 years ago

Criminal elements are: jeni answer and co. , (I am thinking….)

The Patriot
The Patriot
2 years ago

Mr IG sir, the demos will not stop until the demands of 62% of the electorate are met viv aviz: resignation of Jane Ansah and justice for the Tippex contaminated elections! The Police need to work harder than they did in 2012(when 21 people were murdered by the Police in cold blood for exercising their right to demonstrate…hope you have not forgotten sir!!!)in protecting lives and property as Malawians execise their right to demonstrate…no one including you sir can take away our right to vent our anger at the Tippex government and President!! Fraud/cheating dors not PAY…that is the moral… Read more »

2 years ago

section 5 of our constitution says any act of government or any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution shall,to the extent of such inconsistency, be invalid.supremacy of the constitution
tavana kaya macadet apolice kaya aqct of police sizikutikhudza ife

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