Activists stopped from linking FDH to election rigging

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The High Court has granted FDH Bank and its owner Thomson Mpinganjira a court order restraining activists Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence from linking the bank to election rigging.

The order which has was issued by the High Court in Blantyre on Tuesday stops Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo and vice chairperson Gift Trapence from claiming that the bank gave money to the Democratic Progressive Party to rig the May 21 elections.

This follows protests which HRDC organised on July 4th and July 5th.

The court order reads: “An order is hereby granted restraining the defendants from causing reckless, malicious and defamatory publication of the claimants through a report dated 5th July 2019 presented by the first defendant [Mtambo] to its members that the claimants financed the rigging operations by the Democratic Progressive Party for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.”

Mpinganjira, in his sworn affidavit, noted that during the demonstrations protesters pelted stones at an FDH Bank building in Blantyre where they broke glasses.

He also observed that members of the HRDC have been urging people to close their accounts at FDH Bank following a story which revealed that a Malawi Electoral Commission account called Chief Elections Officer held at FDH received K4 billion from Treasury on the eve of the May 21 elections.

Mpinganjira and FDH are worried that if the campaign against FDH continues their reputation will be damaged irreparably to the extent that only damages may not restore good name and character.

The HRDC organised nationwide protests last week to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah for mismanaging the presidential elections.