The road leading to Kamuzu Palace – the official residence of President Peter Mutharika in the capital Lilongwe was full of smoke on Thursday afternoon as thousands of anti Jane Ansah protesters burnt bushes along the road on their march to the palace to submit a petition to force the embattled Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to resign over irregularities that marred the presidential election in May.
This is the fourth round of demonstrations led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM party since moves to oust the MEC Chairperson began in June.
Both MCP and UTM party have taken the matter to the Constitutional Court to ask for nullification of the presidential election results, arguing that MEC fraudulently declared President Peter Mutharika as the winner.
The current round of protests are targeting state residences where the appointing authority for Justice Ansah, President Mutharika, lives.
The smoke along the presidential way was dense, billowing far above the capital and spreading to a number of buildings into the Central Business District.
HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, is on record saying that his coalition would proceed to holding the demonstrations daily if the MEC Chairperson does not resign this time around.
Meanwhile, the prostesters, led by HRDC leadership, have submitted their petition to Presidential Advisor on Civil Society, Mavuto Bamusi, and asked him to come back quickly with positive response from Kamuzu Palace.
The marchers say they will not leave until the positive response from State House which must state that Justice Ansah has resigned.
The prostesters were blocked by Malawi Defense Force soldiers and police from proceeding near Kamuzu Palace at the Chinese Embassy offices, a place which is far away from the palace.