Malawi police on Thursday fired tear gas into US Embassy offices in Lilongwe as opposition supporters staged another protests over the May 21 Tripartite Elections results and blocked off protesters running to the building, witnesses said.
As the US Embassy was engulfed with smoke, security officers swiftly evacuated the ambassador Virginia Palmer who is winding up her tour of diplomatic duty in Malawi.
Police fired teargas as MCP supporters regrouped for another electoral protest themed ‘Mutharika Must Fall ‘ and meant to exert pressure on President Peter Mutharika, who has been sworn-in for a second five-year term of office, to step down.
The security officers wanted to prevent the MCP supporters from what they did in their previous march when they broke into Capital Hill, the seat of government and told civil servants to leave.
One MCP supporter identified as Saad Muhajila has reportedly been shot by police and is at Kamuzu Central Hospital receiving treatment.
Protesters carried placards reading “we don’t want His Tippex-ellency President Mutharika”, in reference to the correction fluid allegedly used to alter voting sheets.
Most protesters were dressed in the regalia of the MCP, which is challenging the election outcome along with the UTM Party of immedietae former vice president Saulos Chilima.
Meanwhile, police arrested newly elected Lilongwe City Centre legislator Alfred Jiya, accusing him of mobilising protestors and conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
Jiya was bundled in a police carand taken to Kawale Police Station.
MCP deputy campaign director George Zulu said the MCP are demanding Mutharika to step down while the court case seeking nullification of election results progresses.
Zulu said if the system delays to decide on vote recount, then Mutharika would be forced to resign to pave the way for fresh elections or a declaration of Chakwera, who finished second according to results announced by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), as the country’s President.
MEC declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent. The electoral body said Chakwera finished second with 1 781 740 votes, representing 35.41 percent of the vote while Chilima, who debuted on the presidential ballot on a UTM Party ticket after falling out with Mutharika last June, was third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.
MCP contends that Mutharika “won a fraudulent election” fraught with irregularities, including alleged stuffing of ballot papers with pre-marked ballots and tempering with election results sheets through tippexing.
Political tensions are intensifying in the country following the disputed elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :