Malawi readies for a second season of protests

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  • Citizens demand return to rule of law
  • Govt urged to assent to electoral bills
  • Ruling DPP to stop arbitrary arrest of the innocent citizens

Malawi will this week enter a second season of protests amid reports that the main opposition, the Malawi Congress party (MCP) will lead in the countrywide demonstrations aimed at restoring the rule of law, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.

This comes after the two main opposition parties, MCP and the United Transformation Movement (UTM) joined hands to form an electoral pact ahead of the May 19 general elections meant to dislodge the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera will be the face of the coalition while the UTM boss Saulos Chilima becomes his running mate.

Since the disputed 2019 elections Malawi has been rocked by chaotic demonstrations as the citizens protested the way the elections were stolen by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

Malawians across the country demanded the immediate resignation of the MEC boss Jane Ansah.

Activists accused Ansah of presiding over a rigged poll and called on her to resign. In the mass protests that followed in May, June and July, a number of protesters were killed and millions of dollars-worth of property was damaged.

The situation has since been worsened by the Constitutional court ruling which overturned the incumbent DPP leader, Peter Mutharika’s electoral victory and ordered the holding of fresh elections.

This week MCP has announced that fresh protests will rock the tiny central African country as citizens demand the return to the rule of law, upholding human rights as well as pushing for the assenting of the electoral bills.

The opposition is also demanding that government stops arbitrary arrest of the innocent citizens, correct the justice system by insuring proper investigations and prosecution, improve public service delivery and to shun corruption, among many other demands.

Malawian authorities this week launched a crackdown on dissent ahead of the general election rerun on 19 May by arresting two prominent human rights activists, Gift Trapence and Reverend McDonald Sembereka.

The two have been vocal critics of last year’s disputed election and have been in police custody since Monday after they were arrested in Lilongwe on 8 March for threatening to march to the State House.

An arrest warrant has been issued against a third activist, Timothy Mtambo. The activists are linked with a local Non-Governmental Organization, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

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