The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has condemned riots that happened in the country on Thursday and Friday during protests organized by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
This is contained in a press statement dated 5th July, 2019 signed by the Commission’s Executive Secretary, David Nungu on post_ elections violence.
The Commission noted that the demonstrations turned violent departing from the perimeters of the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi saying that this is against the provision of the right itself and also the call for peace by organisers of the demonstrations.
During the demonstrations, there was torching and destruction of business premises and Government buildings in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Karonga, Rumphi, among others.
There were also attacks and threats on the demonstrators and organisers, attacks and threats on the people not participating in the demonstrations, mounting of barricades in the roads mainly at Kamphata, Zomba, City centre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu and inflammatory messages on the social media calculated to incite violence and instil fear in the people.
In the statement, the Commission appealed to the organisers of the demonstrations to exercise the duty to ensure that protests are peaceful and must not result in the violation of the rights of the people of Malawi.
The Commission further called on the police to arrest and bring to book all those that abuse the right to assemble and peaceful demonstrations and protect the safety of its officers as they protect the demonstrators besides protecting the safety of the people of Malawi and their property.
MHRC also repeated its calls to the people of Malawi to report to police any person of persons that cause violence, indulge in property destruction or looting of any manner saying every Malawian has a duty to safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms including the right to peace and peaceful co- existence.
MHRC advised people aggrieved by the conduct of the May 21 tripartite elections to follow peaceful means of resolving disputes as provided by the Constitution.
According to MHRC, it will soon release its report in which it will hold all duty bearers accountable after noting and monitoring all the demonstrations.
The demonstrators were protesting to push for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah over her commission’s handling of the 2019 elections.