Tight Security On Judgment Day, Judges in Armored Vehicles
The court premises in Lilongwe’s area 3 were a no-go-zone for every Jim and Jack yesterday when the High Court sitting as Constitutional Court was passing its Judgment on the Presidential election nullification petition.
The water tight security provided by Malawi Defense Force (MDF) soldiers and Malawi Police Service (MPS) kept everyone at distance of 150 meters away from the court room where verdict was being made.
A reliable source within the MDF confided in us that about 2,000 soldiers were deployed in Lilongwe to provide security.
As early as six o’clock security forces had mounted ad hock road barriers blocking motorists from accessing feeder roads around the area 3.
The security forces conducted patrols in the city besides erecting ad hock road blocks on the Lilongwe-Blantyre, Lilongwe-Mchinji and Lilongwe-Mzuzu roads.
Only a selected few comprising the media, Red Cross Society officials and party officials were allowed into the court premises but not after producing a National Identity Card to authenticate the name on the accreditation form and going through a thorough screening by security forces at the gate to the court yard.
Dozens of people were sent back because they were either not accredited or their names were scrapped off when the list of accredited individuals was being reduced.
The five judges who have been hearing the case since August 2019, arrived at the court at around 8:30 aboard military armored vehicles, with a military helicopter hovering over the skies patrolling the area.
There has been tension in most parts of the following the disputed May 21 Presidential election.
Saulos Chilima of UTM and MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court to nullify the election results which Malawi Electoral Commission declared Peter Mutharika of DPP winner.
The Constitutional Court has sided with the petitioners and ordered for a fresh election in 150 days.