Mutharika says no ban for demos: Supports right to protest but against violence

President Peter Mutharika has cleared the mist that he has not banned demonostrations, saying he support the right to protests peacefully as enshrined in the Republican Constitition but his government is against violence and criminal behaviour.

Mutharika: We have not banned demonstrations

Speaking on BBC, President Mutharika pointed out that  the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) led protests have taken a toll on the country’s social, economic and political life – with business premises left damaged, business people losing their businesses and leaving state buildings burning from petrol bombs and arsonists.

Asked on his order to the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and Police to stop demonstrations “using all force necessary”, the President said he was only against violence that has occurred during the protests.

“We have not banned demonstration. My government is not against peaceful demonstrations. I am one of the  framers of the Constitution. I am a constitutional lawyer myself, I believe in the rule of law, but the Constitution doesn’t allow violent demonstrations.

“Yes you have seen the destruction that is taking place, a number of bulding s burnt, government buildings burnt, people injured, over 500 people severely injured. The Constitution does not allow that…” said Mutharika.

Mutharika, a former law professor at Washington State University,  helped in drafting Malawi Constitution  in 1994 at the onset of the reintroduction of multiparty politics in the country.

Three months after holding peaceful general elections on 21 May, Malawi has seen thousands of marchers take to the streets every week to protest against the country’s disputed presidential results.The well-attended protests at the end of August to shut down the country’s land and air borders for three days have led the Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale to obtain a court order to suspend  the gatherings on behalf of the government.

However, the suspension granted by the Supreme Court of Malawi, only gave the government a 14-day moratorium from the street protests so that  Kaphale and the leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), to hammer out a solution to have peaceful protests .

The HDRC and its followers have alleged that the May polls which announced Mutharika as the winner were allegedly rigged in his favour by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and its chairperson Jane Ansah. Due to this, the protestors want her and fellow commissioners to be removed from office.

Ansah, who declared the presidential results as free and fair, said she would only leave the MEC leadership if a court of law found her at fault in the running of the polls – a stand that has infuriated the HDRC and its supporters further, thereby fuelling the current demonstrations which have spread nationwide in both numbers and fury.

With Ansah apparently being backed by the president, who appointed her in the first place, the demonstrations have picked up steam as every week the protestors have been called to march in the country’s major cities to demand Ansah’s departure from MEC.

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The Patriot
The Patriot
1 year ago

Imagine being a second term President without the approval of 62% of your electorate? Imagine being a President who needs armoured cars to enter your own Capital City? Imagine seeing and hearing your own citizens shouting words like “mbava!” while your convoy is passing? All that happening while your are 80 years old, tired but being forced by your henchmen to keep on holding on to power so that they continue looting ang plundering the country! These are certainly not good times for APM and as Malawians lets pray hard for him!!!

Mahuna
Mahuna
1 year ago
Reply to  The Patriot

Pray hard kuti afe kapena chani

Central
Central
1 year ago

Awa anawaphunzitsa za uchenji golooooooooooooo Uladi!! Posachedwa pompa ankati sangalole ma demo, ndipo he had told the army and the police to use necessary force on anyone going for demonstration!! What does telling the security agents to stop demons mean? Isn’t this stopping demos? Nde ena ndithu amvekele a dad you’re very wise! Palinso wisdom pamenepaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

War
War
1 year ago

How I would love to shoot you in the head. Planning on it.

Killer Juju
Killer Juju
1 year ago
Reply to  War

Me, too. Mutharika needs to go in order for peace in Malawi to continue.

Mtete
Mtete
1 year ago

Bwana APM, Acting Malawi President is a double dealer. He approves peaceful demonstrations but at the same time orders Dausi and Mchacha to ensure the demos are infiltrated by cadets to cause chaos so that HRDC are subsequently accused of violence. We know your game DPP.

George Victor
1 year ago

Peter you have our blessings. God is on your side. True how can you ask Jane Ansah to resign when the issue is in court. Lets wait for the courts to do their work.Close your ears for all the hearsies… zipita zonsezi pompano. Our good Lord will calm dowm the storm.God bless you Our Leader..Getrude continue being a prayer warrior for your hubby.We are with you in prayers. We all love our country and all we want is peace.

Charie
Charie
1 year ago

I love you adad God bless you

Trummalawi
Trummalawi
1 year ago
Reply to  Charie

Bwana I love you too. Let the Almighty One in heaven Bless you with more wisdom. I promise to continue praying for our Dear Leader.

Mulopwana
Mulopwana
1 year ago

I listened to the BBC interview. The message from APM is just very clear. Demo not banned but should be violent free. So HRDC ensure you are holding violent free demos. Bring in your mrashals to manage the looters. Police will not help you at all because you beat them.

Mandado@147
1 year ago
Reply to  Mulopwana

Police watch while Dpp cadets beats up demo goers who is beating who dumb ass? Same police to ensure peaceful protestor use tear gas to incite violence so that Dpp say the demos are violent! That shit wont wake with this generation buddy! There are relentless for the struggle for change by any means!

TOSH
1 year ago

pitala idiot yu want to shield yourself from the outsiders they know the outsiders that pitala is undemocratic in another round adictator

Onjezani
Onjezani
1 year ago

Good man

Demos are on.
Demos are on.
1 year ago

Good move, no ban for protests.

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