Violent, looting demonstrations condemned: Malawi at standstill over elections dispute

The violent acts that have been taking place since the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced that Peter Mutharika won the May 21 presidential race have been condemned as two-day peaceful demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign turned ugly Thursday.

Chakwera, Chilima and Mary Chilima during the march.- Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana
Kids join the demonstrations. Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

 

Demonstrate peacefully, screamed a headline of the editorial comment on Friday by The Nation newspaper, the leading daily.

The paper was commenting on reported violence, looting and arson following the demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

In the capital Lilongwe, group of youths suspected to have been among the protesters looted a Spar supermarket and an electronics shop at City Centre after the marchers had dispersed.

In Blantyre, the suspected ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets attacked Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Southern Region offices at Chichiri.

The offices were vandalised, glasses were broken and a security guard identified as Lungu was assaulted.

In Mzuzu, some of the protesters were breaking offices, including those of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom). Commercial banks located along Mzuzu’s dual-carriageway Orton Chirwa Highway were not spared as NBS Bank, Standard Bank, Nedbank and First Capital Bank branches were affected.

The demonstrators also demolished perimeter fences for some buildings, smashed vehicles and shops, including Airtel Malawi and TNM plc kiosks.

“As Malawi moves towards the climax of its55th Independence Anniversary Celebrations on July 6, it is disheartening and shocking that people are this angry and destructive,” reads the comment in part.

The daily pointed out that violence scares away investors.

“The government is already struggling to finance the budget; hence, needless destruction of infrastructure should be avoided at all cost to ensure that the little resources available are channelled to essential and critical sectors such as health service delivery, agriculture and education,” it reads.

The paper said with a case seeking nullification of presidential elections in court, the concerned stakeholders should give justice a chance by “letting the courts define the course of justice.”

The Catholic bishops, under the Episcopal Conference on Malawi (ECM), state in a statement, that they condemn the violence in strongest terms.

“We denounce the vice perpetrated on innocent people and their property based on political, regional and tribal lines. Violence is evil and unacceptable. It is contrary to the freedom we fought for when we chose multiparty system of government,” the statement reads, in part.

While acknowledging the right of Malawians to hold peaceful demonstrations as provided in the Constitution, the bishops call on citizens to maintain peace, calm and unity as the nation waits for the court’s determination on the matter.

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concerned citizen
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concerned citizen

NAMBWEWE !! Has DPP been controlling its party members for the past five tears they were in power? The cadets have committed so many atrocities on many Malawians. Examples, beatings of members of other parties, arson- burning of UTM vehicles, undressing of a woman in public just because she supports a different party. The list is endless but we never heard any statement of rebuke from the DPP president or any other DPP official. Instead it was denials, refutals and press conferences in deffence of their party. In comparison to the DPP the organisers of the demos are saying they… Read more »

Richie
Guest

A chilima ndi atsogoleri a looters
Mulungu akuyangana ndiwatonse

Tipex Janensah
Guest
Tipex Janensah

The people who were looting were DPP cadets disguised as UTM MCP. They want to portray pictures that the protests are violent. Please MDF deal with those looting and damaging our properties. DPP yatha Ma plan.

Tobias
Guest

You are an amateur in politics. Opposition parties are power hungry. Let Prof. APM continue developing Malawi. You don’t know the effects of all these….take care

Mandado@147
Guest

lol And your a pro in political analysis with your narrow minded views? Full Trail starts on 29 the courts has acknowledge there is a case! The protestors have all the right to call for demo actually Jane should have resign way back to pave way for investigations but I guess she has skeletons in the closet to suppress under the carpet. By the way the people who tip ex results, quickly announce results with time on their hands to address 147 complaints, quickly sworn in, and try to block the courts from a trail to check for misconduct, irregularities… Read more »

Khundi
Guest
Khundi

Akulu, just agree that MCP and UTM hoodlums are behind all this chaos. The two parties are the ones fueling this unfortunate situation because of hunger for power. FOXES

Authant
Guest
Authant

Chilima and Chakwera are genius and have shown true leadership. Peter mutharika is without substance, how can he allow the whole Nation to chaios just because of a Jerry bird called Ansah when as leader he has power that he can use to fire her.

Psyuta
Guest
Psyuta

You see him rushing to receive the holy Eucharist on Sunday. Cursed Saulos !

Godfearing Person
Guest
Godfearing Person

I would like to thank Chakwela, Chilima and Mtambo and others involved in the situation we are in. That is a true statesmanship. That is good leadership. Mr Chakwela you are now in the rightful place of your real duty. You wasted a lot of time in church. If you had come early in politics, Malawi could have been a very good place. You were there in 1959, 1964, 1993, & 1994, we could have enjoyed our freedom. Keep on Mr Chakwela Malawians are behind you. Have a clear conscious. Do not worry about the damages, you will built these… Read more »

Bob
Guest
Bob

You can’t succeed … Politics is not a church

Nambwewe
Guest
Nambwewe

Loosers!!! you are damaging Malawi!!! looting and damaging a country does not bring justice!! you are roughens and you fail to control your parties! you dont qualify to lead the nation in any shape from or status!!why are you to waiting for the court to do its job?You have lost all your respect!!

User
Guest
User

Ndipo AMalawi mwa kalipa kwabasi. Simufuna ku kubelani ma votes eti? Ndipo mushoke matown yonse. Good pipo

Onjezani
Guest
Onjezani

The leaders say ‘Osaopa’ and yet they are surrounded by an army of body guards! Hypocrisy at its best.

Vulgar
Guest

Tippex always wins.

Operation Chotsa Mbavaa
Guest
Operation Chotsa Mbavaa

ALL THESE CHAOS IS THE DIRECT CONSEQUENCES TO THE STUBBORNESS N IGNORANT BEHAVIOUR BY THE ILLEGITIMATE LEADER… H.E. MBAVAA N COZ OF HIM… HIS GF IS ALSO BEING ADAMANT. BE SENSIBLE… STOP BEING SO STUBBORN… THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOUR DOES NOT SUIT AGOGOs like you both… give up Mr Fake president…. why u want to die early coz of stress n tension. Look at your late brother….. late mbendera… ALL died coz of stress n tension which is being cleverly given to you n inflicted by your own surrounding greedy n inconsiderate inner circle thugs n thieves. Boss take my… Read more »

Bob
Guest
Bob

You don’t know what you are saying. It’s not central region that voted during the TPE…mind you….akukugwiritsani ntchito mufoira

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