A senior main opposition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) official has told party supporters to join the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) sanctioned new wave of anti-Jane Ansah protests.
MCP director of Elections Moses Kunkuyu told the people on Sunday in Mangochi during a political rally.
“No one, including the traditional leaders, even how powerful they may be, should stop you from participating in the peaceful demonstrations. This is your constitutional right,” said Kunkuyu to the applause of the people.
Kunkuyu said this after some people complained to him directly that some chiefs in the area were stopping them from participating in the demonstrations.
HRDC has been holding demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over flawed May 21 presidential elections, but a 14-day moratorium issued on August 27 by Justice Lovemore Chikopa of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal suspended the protests pending discussions on ensuring violence-free protests.
The order in part reads: “During the said time [14 days], the parties hereto shall hold negotiations to determine a manner in which the ‘Respondents’ [HRDC] exercise of their rights in Section 38 of the Constitution can be had without undue incidents of violence and crime…”
The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal made the order following an application by the Attorney General’s office which cited violence and looting during some of the HRDC’s protests aimed at forcing Ansah to stand down.
HRDC and opposition political parties accuse Ansah, who is also a Justice of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, of presiding over an allegedly flawed electoral process.
The new wave of the protests starts on September 18 to 20.