Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has planned to go ahead with their scheduled weekly demonstrations despite Malawi Human Rights Commission’s (MHRC) call to suspend them.

MHRC released a statement signed by Executive Secretary of the Commission, David Nungu on Monday asking HRDC to consider calling off the demonstrations for now to allow room for a reflection meeting with the Commission.

“While the Commission does not want to appear to limit the enjoyment of the right to demonstrate, it nevertheless has a duty to ensure the protection and respect of human rights as guaranteed by the Constitution,” reads the statement.

It also said the commission is greatly disturbed with the continued violence during public protests across the country.

“The protests have turned violent and ceased to be rights-based. Instead, they have become crime-based, resulting in destruction of property,” it reads further.

HRDC chairperson, Timothy Mtambo said during a press briefing on Tuesday that the commission has failed to appreciate that the violence that takes place during demonstrations is not the responsibility of HRDC.

“It is the responsibility of government to make sure that property and lives of people are protected and this call is being misplaced because Dr Jane Ansah has the power to make the demonstrations come to an end,” Mtambo said.

He said as long as the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Ansah is in office, they will use every strategy to make sure that she resigns which will include demonstrations.

The demonstrations which were slated to take place on Tuesday have been shifted to Thursday.

In his remarks, Ntambo said the demonstrations have been shifted because only Lilongwe has submitted written notice to the relevant authorities unlike other cities and other districts.

“We also note that the city and security authorities have not received enough written notice to be aware of and routes to be taken up so they plan accordingly,” he said.

Credit : Mana

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