‘National disobedience’ to follow Ansah’s refusal to resign: Malawi police ill-equipped to query public anger

Opposition leaders  have vowed to launch a campaign of civil disobedience if chairperson of  the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Jane Ansah, refuse to resign.

Senior police officer injured during the protests at Capital Hill in Lilongwe
Police officers observe a protestor dance to a ‘Madando’ song.
Lilongwe briidge set on fire
Chakwera and Chilimajoined the protesters in the capital, Lilongwe. Also present was former Chief Justice Richard Banda, the husband of former President Joyce Banda.
The protesters  have demanded the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission chairwoman Jane Ansah.

Opposition leaders Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, who finished second and third in the election, respectively,  who are both  challenging the election results in court, alleging irregularities said they will engage “gear two” if Ansah refuses to abdicate from the commission.

Chilima who together with Chakwera and  former Chief Justice Richard Banda, the husband of former President Joyce Banda, joined  protests  in the capital Lilongwe, said the Thursday protests  were “warm-ups”, and that they will seek so to ratchet up pressure on Ansah by announcing a disobedience campaign .

The UTM leader said Malawians should not be afraid as they are expressing their right to demonstrate.

“This is about Malawi, I am a Malawian, Dr Chakwera here is a Malawian, we have joined fellow Malawians that are not happy with how the recent elections were conducted, we demand Justice,” Chilima said.

On his part Chakwera said: “Malawians are very angry with the manner in which the management of the election results were conducted and we want everyone involved in the injustice to resign and get out.”

The election was marred by allegations of fraud, including that many results sheets were altered using white correction fluid called Tippex.

Malawian political scientist Michael Jana, who teaches at the University of Witwatersrand, said: “A significant section of Malawi society is disgruntled and does not want the current government. It’s a divided country.”

The opposition  have promised to keep the demonstrations peaceful, but tensions are running high and some fear the protests could spark civil unrest.

Meanwhile, police officers are said to be asking for authorities to ensure that they are well equipped to  contain the people’s protests.

Nyasa Times understands police are having a shortage of weapons which include rubber bullets, protective gear  and tear gas canisters.

The recent protests by opposition has put the country to standstill and despite claims of being peaceful, they have largely been overtaken by some yobs to cause violence and looting of shops.

Police said shops had been ransacked and two police officers injured by protesters throwing rocks in Lilongwe.

“We continue to deploy police officers both on foot and vehicle patrols, in all strategic places in towns, cities and rural areas,” police said in a statement.

President Peter Mutharika in his speech at parliament on Friday made assertions that two young people have been killed in the post-election violence.

A police statement  seen by Nyasa Times, noted “sporadic incidences of violence” but did not mention arrests.

On Wednesday, protesters in Lilongwe scuffled with police as they blocked the road the 78-year-old Mutharika was meant to travel to enter the capital from the southern region, forcing his motorcade to use a different route.

The President in response to the weeks of unrest has urged unity and calm while accusing the opposition of “mobilizing illegal demonstrations” and trying to cause chaos after the peaceful election.

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3 years ago

Apolisi akangokuyang’anani, they are ill equipped. Akati angothotholako tianthu ten tokha ndi zipolopolo zamoyo “iyayi awombela anthu osalakwa oti analibe kalikonse”. What’s wrong with you people if at all you are people and not animals? What I know of humans is that they think and reason, and the absence renders someone no different from a soulless animal. Do not provoke authorities because they surely can use force. Respect their restraint and let Malawi unite. Politics will never be clean, and it favours the dirtiest. So if you are crying in politics you are not dirty enough. Just get dirtier and… Read more »

concerned citizen
concerned citizen
3 years ago

The two young people APM claims were killed were not killed during demonstrations .This happened in Thyolo when DPP supporters were on a victory celebration march. The kids were trying to go and join the celebrations when they were hit by a minibus. Zoona zeni zeni za nkahni ndizimenezi. The old man is being fed lies by those surrounding him

Operation Chotsa Mbavaa
Operation Chotsa Mbavaa
3 years ago

Both Ansah n his ex-bf apm must both immediately RESIGN n then are free and can go on honeymoon n enjoy the looted monies… but for now please spare us for God’s sake.

3 years ago

Peaceful but poor management by MEC

3 years ago

While short term Objectives include Resignation of Mrs Tippex Madando …Let’s not lose the Long Term Objectives ….50+1,Independent Electrol Commission …Why Should Someone Taking part in Elections be allowed to Appoint Commissionaires ….Ndi Izi they End up appointing Ex – Girlfriends, their lapdogs / Mizyanya and Akumuzi …

3 years ago
Reply to  Nalingula

I agree with you the likes of Jean Mathanga who sleeps with the whole DPP bwanas kukhala commissioner also she has a position ku muhlako.Lets continue ma demo guys

3 years ago

Inu a police this time tiki limodzi tiwavense,

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