When Malawi govt paid Mulli K3bn why should demo organisers be responsible for damages?

The plan by Minister of Homeland and Security Nicholas Dausi to urge people who suffered personal injuries and organisations whose property was vandalised during demonstrations to send information to his ministry for lawsuit against Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) is misplaced.

Mary Chilima clad in a black T-shirt inscribed Osaopa

A precedent was already set when government paid Muli Brothers a whooping K3 billion for the property damage his firms suffered in 2011 demonstrations. It is now queer that government is applying double standard and wants to shift the responsibility to organisers.

Demanding organisers to pay for the damages is a calculated move by government to stifle political space and to silence organisers. Already two officials of HRDC, Rev McDonald Sembereka and Gift Trapence, were arrested last week over an issue that was already resolved with the donors.

Government is making every effort to frustrate organisers from carrying out further demonstrations which have been escalated to two days a week, Tuesdays and Fridays, until Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah resigns in the wake of disputed May 21 election results. They accuse her of mismanaging the elections and has subsequently losing trust of the people.

It is the responsibility of the police to protect property and the people. It has been observed that the police seem not to be strategic in the manner they handle situations after protests. Looting of shops and destruction of property usually occur after the petition has been delivered and people are going home. This is the time when the police should be alert and thwart any attempts to loot. One way is to direct people to use certain roads or guard strategic buildings. This is also the time when the police should display their professionalism by not provoking the crowd.

Sometimes the police have not been professional in the way they handle demonstrations. They have been situations when they beat up people and throw teargas canisters without any justifiable reason. Throwing teargas canisters anyhow [like what happened at MCP headquarters] should be avoided. This only makes the crowd unruly and react by throwing stones at the police. Dausi needs to look into how the police conduct themselves during demonstrations. Malawians have lost trust in the way police behave themselves. They prefer soldiers to provide security during demonstrations.

It should also be borne in mind that the people who loot shops are thieves who take advantage of the protests. And some of them are vendors, call boys and those who eke a living out of carrying people’s luggage.

It is obvious that government has been feeling the heat since the demonstrations of “Jane Ansah Must Fall Campaign” started. Businesses have been crippled, property vandalised and workers have stayed away from work. Minister of Agriculture and DPP Southern Regional vice-president Kondwani Nankhumwa has said his party is willing to enter into dialogue with opposition parties to end political squabbles, but opposition leaders will have none of it. The Malawi Law Society has added its voice for Ansah to consider resigning for the sake of peace.

As demonstrations are now part of Malawian life until MEC chairperson steps down, the police need to prepare themselves so that there is no damage or loss of property during demonstrations.

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jogoda
Guest
jogoda

pple lose property. they should be compasated . whether its organisers or govt. after all its the same tax payer desrtroying thier fellow citizens then paythem using the same tax. i would like to urge my fellow citizens to avoid property destraction of our fellow citizens. let us use good means of expressing our concern.

Vulgar
Guest

Jane Ansah MUST pay the demonstrators. She has a lot of money.

Onjezani
Guest
Onjezani

Two wrongs don’t make a right! If the government erred in making the payment do you think continuing making the payments will correct the mistake? This will create a moral hazard. Mind you when you say the government will pay, you are implicitly saying you are going to pay since government coffers are filled with your own tax deductions. Let’s not encourage bad behavior for the sake of it. People should be held accountable for their actions.

Nzika
Guest
Nzika

@ onjezani When we told you that the decison by DPP government to use use tax payers’ money to pay Mulli was unwise and stupid you DPP sycophants were all over the place as usual headlessly defending DPP led government. Here you are now pretending to be wiser speaking against the very decision you blindly and stupidly supported a couple of years ago. I guess you now understand why we say DPP government is simply stupid and clueless. I use these words as a patriotic malawian and I have no apologies to make for using such words. Don’t think you… Read more »

Phiri gwale
Guest
Phiri gwale

Unya

Mandado@147
Guest

You should actually pay cause you too wise! Lets save our taxes from APM buying coffee and paying for hotel room in New York and buying his food he has to feel the pitch from his 2 million salary KKKKKK

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

Yaa let government pay after all its our money which will be stollen by these dogs in due course anyway.

jogoda
Guest
jogoda

pple lose property. atleast mwe need to see innocent ple compasated when thier property is destroyed . whether is the govt or organisers. it doesnt matter. alipileni ndi misonkho yathuyo after all we are the very same pple who pays tax and also decide to destroy our fellow citizens property.

Innoxy Charles
Guest
Innoxy Charles

Ntchito ya apolisi ndi chiyani kwa ochita mademo? so ngati amalephera ayenera kulipira osatiuza ife manyi okay…Nanga amene mwaamanga aja alipirenso???.Mbuzi yotchedwa Dausi isatinyere tatopa kale ndi zina.

Mmalawi
Guest

Now that’s what we wanted to hear. You are amazing. Boma lilipire Basi ahaaah