Malawi braces for a season of mass protests

The disputed Malawi elections are set to trigger mass protests with civil society organisations threatening to support demonstrators amid calls for chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Jane Ansah to step down.

Reports that are reaching us state that Members of the Civil Society Organisations under the Human Rights Defenders Coalition(HRDC) are ready to support the mass demonstrations.

Addressing Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), HRDC Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence said they have met with the police and other authorities to discuss details of the demonstrations that have been scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

“We met this morning with the police and other authorities to discuss details of the demonstrations. The demonstrations are on Thursday and Friday in all cities and selected districts.”

“We will not relent until Dr Jane Ansah resigns,” he said.

Timothy Mtambo, HRDC Chairperson says  they will ensure that the demonstrations are peaceful and they have called on the police to arrest anyone found on the wrong side of the law.

“We will ensure the demonstrations are peaceful and we have called on the police to arrest anyone found to flout laws during the protest,” he said.

The recently held plebiscite in Malawi is under scrutiny following irregularities, which marred the presidential election of May 21.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP), opposition challenged the presidential results raising issues of ballot stuffing among other pertinent issues and the matter has been escalated to the Constitutional Court.

Local opposition leader Nelson Chamisa also rallied behind the opposition in Malawi citing that” Africa must stop poll rigging.”

“We note with keen interest the developments relating to elections in Malawi. We call upon Malawians of goodwill to ensure that Political and legal processes yield justice to reflect the true will of the great Malawian people.”

“Africa must stop poll rigging and stop electoral fraud,” he said.

Party leaders from the opposition have been calling their supporters to protest against the election results whilst the civil organisations are calling for the resignation of MEC chairperson Jane Ansa.

Peter Mutharika narrowly won with 38.5% whilst  Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), came close behind with about 35.4% President Mutharika’s former deputy, Saulos Chilima, finished in third place – winning just over 20% of the ballot.