Govt to sue demo organisers


Government has said it will file a class action lawsuit against organisers of the post-election demonstrations on behalf of people and organisations that lost property in last week’s protests.

Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi said this in a statement today.

Dausi quoted the Section 106(1) of the Police Act which says the convener or any person participating in a demonstration shall be liable for riot damage as joint wrongdoer together with any person who unlawfully caused or contributed to such damage.

The section adds that any person organisation held liable for riot damage shall be deemed liable in any civil claim.

During the protests last week, there were incidences of violence across the country as buildings and vehicles were set ablaze, shops and offices were looted and some buildings were damaged.

In the statement, Dausi said people who suffered injuries during the demonstrations should obtain medical reports and submit them to police.

“Similarly, all those that suffered loss or damage property are requested to prepare details of the loss and damage or expert reports of the cost of repairs and bring them to the officer in charge of their nearest police station,” Dausi said.

He added that Government Ministries and Department or Agencies should submit similar reports to the Secretary for Homeland Security.

The minister said government will collate the reports and arrange for commencement of civil action against organisers and conveners of the demonstrations.

According to Dausi, the aim is to hold the organisers liable for the damage and obtain compensation for loss, injury or damage.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition organised the protests to force Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.