Former Vice President Saulos Chilima has urged Malawians to continue conducting demonstrations against the outcome of the May 21 elections.
Chilima said this in a statement on Tuesday night in response to Inspector General Rodney Jose’s demand for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition to stop organising post-election protests.
The UTM leader condemned Jose’s push to stop demonstrations saying it is a blatant disregard of the masses’ expression of their loss of trust in the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah.
Chilima said Malawians have a right to demonstrate but those involved in acts of lawlessness during demonstrations should be regarded as criminals and not protesters.
“For my part, I wholeheartedly support and encourage the people of Malawi to exercise their rights without fear, including the exercise of their right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and unarmed as we all demand an end to electoral reforms fraud and the resignation of Dr. Mrs. Ansah who has completely lost the people’s trust,” Chilima said.
In the statement, Chilima hailed the military for protecting protesters during previous anti-Ansah demonstrations.
“The gratitude that we, the people of this country, have for our beloved Defence Force cannot be fully captured in words. In the on-going mass demonstrations, the Malawi Defence Force has shown remarkable professionalism, discipline and ability to contain elements of violence deployed by the dark forces that seek to tarnish the mass expression of disapproval of the usurped system that our country is currently being run on,” he said.
The UTM leader added that whenever demonstrations are conducted, the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force should use their best lawful endeavours to fulfil their duty to ensure security of life and property while allowing the masses to exercise their rights without undue inhibition.