Police asks public to be responsible in conducting demos, meetings

Malawi Police has asked organisers of political meetings and demonstrations in Mzimba North to be responsible when booking space by following the proper procedure of writing to the District Commissioner and copying Police.

OC Lovemore Mwabumba

Deputy Commissioner of Police in the North and Officer-in-Charge of Mzuzu Police Lovemore Mwabumba said this at a meeting of the Multi-Party Liaison Committee of Mzimba North held on Tuesday at Mzimba North District Education Manager’s Office in Ekwendeni.

“ What we want is a violence-free election.  And We are saying that the conveners of meetings whether it is a demonstration or political rally  should inform the Police in advance  of their meetings so that the Police should assess whether the events are a threat to development or security,” said Mwabumba.

Mwabumba explained that although everyone in Malawi has a right to hold meetings as granted by the Constitution,  some political parties in are irresponsible and do not follow the procedures forcing Mzuzu  Police to  stop the events which  the law enforcers  deem to pose security risks.

The Deputy Police Commissioner cited the new Mzuzu Highway which is still construction as an example of  one of the developments that could be interrupted by the September 21 demonstrations hence the need for the  Police  assessment before permission for  meetings along the Road is granted.

And a Representative of  M’belwa District Commissioner  Tamala Nyrongo cited holding of  meetings by different political groupings in  close-range as an example of a  situation that provokes political violence.

“ We have noted that political parties are fond of holding counter meetings within 100 meters  of another party’s meeting. Others do not even inform the Police.  All political parties  must follow the proper  procedures  when booking for space,” said Nyirongo.

Nyirongo has since warned that space for political events  in Mzimba District will be granted on a first come, first serve basis regardless of the political party involved in order to avoid  the violence and provocation on other parties.

And the Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC) through its Civic Education Officer Maurice Manchichi called on the newly constituted MPLC to be professional in mediating over complaints of inter-party violence by not accepting bribes.

Manchichi also advised parties that face political violence to submit full details of the violence incidence to the MPLC detailing where and when the event happened to enable the Committee to speedily investigate the complaints.

The newly composed MPLC in Mzimba North  is led by  Nyirongo. Other recognized members of the MPLC in Mzimba North include;  Police, MEC, other Government officials as well as  all traditional authorities in Mzimba North and some registered political parties. Among the parties that form the Mzimba North MPLC are  Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) , the People’s Party (PP) , the United Democratic Front (UDF) and, the Democratic People’s Congress (DEPECO).

The MPLC meeting  themed “say no to political violence” was sponsored by Tovwirane with support from the Dutch Government through Hivos  Southern Africa Hub.  The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) formed the MPLCs across the Country  in 2002  in order to  assist in resolving inter-party conflicts  and to promote ethical conduct of political parties in Malawi.

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3 years ago

Demonstrates are generally peaceful. It is the plants by Mchacha and Jeffrey who cause havoc

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