The planned Anti-Jane Ansah border and airport demonstrations slated for 26-30 August have been hit by a number of barriers from different quarters who are against the protests.

Few hours after the High Court in Blantyre, on Friday granted the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) an injunction restraining the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) from conducting the demos, the Ministry of Homeland Security also came up with a new act limiting the right to hold demonstrations in protected areas such as borders and airports.

Homeland Security minister Nicholas Dausi told journalists during a press briefing held at Capitol Hill in Lilongwe on Friday that the new act will form part of the demonstrations regulations of 2019.

He said: “Malawi government is determined to protect and defend our security, our freedom and our common values, including human rights, democracy and the rule of law; therefore closing boarders is an act of aggression.

“Our boarders and airports are among protected places where demonstrations are not allowed and cannot be allowed; therefore any attempt to shut down our areas will be regarded as treasonous attack on the state of Malawi, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The minister, who was also accompanied by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Francis Phiso, issued the older by referring to the powers conferred to him by section 4 of the Protected Places and Areas Act.

The development comes barely three days after President Peter Mutharika commanded the Malawi Defense Force- MDF and the Malawi Police service to use all necessary force to stop the Ant-Jane Ansah border and airports demonstrations.

Meanwhile, HRDC chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, says despite government coming up with new approaches to stop Malawians from conducting the vigils, their stand will not be jeopardized.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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