Blantyre Holds Peaceful Demos

There was heavy presence of security officers at the demonstration There was heavy presence of security officers at the demonstration - Pic by Happy Njalam'mano

The anti-Jane Ansah protesters in Blantyre on Thursday held a peaceful march in their continued attempt to force Dr. Jane Ansah to step down as chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission.

They are accusing Dr. Ansah of mismanaging the May 21, 2019 elections.

Escorted by soldiers of the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and police, the protesters marched from the Kamuzu Upper Stadium to Kwacha round about to Naperi via Catholic Institute to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital back to the upper stadium.

MDF soldiers and police blocked the roads to Blantyre Central Business District at Mt. Pleasant, diverting protesters to use the road through College of Medicine to the upper stadium.

Reluctantly, the protesters used the new route after their leader, Chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in the south, Masauko Thawe, addressed them.

Thawe expressed satisfaction after the protest.

“We have seen Malawians turning out despite the weather. We are very sure that these demonstrations will bear fruits because this what Malawians have been coming for.

“We don’t take Malawians for granted and if they are coming, something will change this country,” he said.

Thawe said they have been presenting petitions for a long time, saying they will not present them anymore.

According to Thawe, the protesters also want the Anti-Corruption Bureau to reveal names of people suspected to have attempted to bribe judges handling the high profile elections case.

A female protester called on gender activists who went to the street in support of Dr. Ansah to as well come forward and speak for women who claim police raped and abused them at Nsundwe in Lilongwe.

In the twist of events, some unknown people attacked and burnt a vehicle that was used to carry a Public Address System during the demonstrations.

The suspects attacked the vehicle in Namiwawa as it was coming from the demonstration, injuring a driver and a Dee Jay who escaped when the mob attacked them.

MDF soldiers and police rushed to the scene and recorded statements but police are yet to speak on the matter.

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