Protesters in Blantyre say they will go ahead with their peaceful demonstrations in Blantyre despite the decision by Blantyre City Council to refuse give permission.
The peaceful protests have been slated for June 20 across the country to show discontent on he results of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections and demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and her commissioners for allegedly compromising the electoral process.
Blantyre city council chief executive officer Dr. Alfred Chanza refused the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) permission to hold the protests, saying the streets and townships of Blantyre had been duly booked for public events by other stakeholders from June 18 to 24.
But legal experts say the law does not give powers to councils or police to refuse permission for protests but rather protesters simply inform the authorities of their intent to hold peaceful demonstrations.
HRDC co-chairperson Gift Trapence said the protests will go on in Blantyre despite a possible potential clash with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who are set to undertake its Victory Parade in the commercial city.
Public Affairs Committee (PAC), an inter-faith human rights and policy watchdog, accused the governing DPP of trying to sabotage the June 20 demonstrations organised by HRDC.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said ipolice will provide security to all marchers “regardless of political affiliation” and asked the demonstrators to stay within the law and avoid breaking any law or committing any offence during the street protests.
He advised demonstrators to ensure that there is no disruption to those going to workplaces and business, students writing examinations, learners going to school, motorists and health facilities.
HRDC announced intention to hold nationwide demonstrations in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu.