A human rights lawyer has challenged Inspector General of police Rodney Jose over his decision to ban demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commision (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign, saying he has been wrongly advised.
Writing on his face book wall, Chrispine Sibande says Jose has been advised wrongly to give directions on future demonstrations or demand wholesomely anything to do with demonstrations in Malawi.
“Issues of demonstrations fall exclusively in the hands of the district commissioner. It is the DC who is given powers to consult officer-in-charge of police of a particular locality on matters of security where a particular demonstration is taking place based on written notice,” says Sibande.
He says even on the day of demonstrations, the law recognizes a police officer in the locality at the rank of inspector and above to advise convenors on matters of security.
“Blanket statements on demonstrations fall outside laws of Malawi. The IG has been ill advised,” says Sibande.
Governance and political analyst a Henry Chingaipe faulted the authorites for “focusing on finding ways to curtail the demonstrations in one way or the other without addressing the issues that protesters have raised and for which they have taken to the streets.”
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), organisers of the demonstrations, have since snubbed Jose on his decision to stop the protests.
Analysts have, however, said the stalemate requires political solution and not “ force” as mulled by the State.
HRDC is organising the nationwide protest to force Ansah, a judge at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, to step down for allegedly mismanaging the May 21 Tripartite Elections.