Activists to hold anti-HRDC demos

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Activists under the banner Joint Society Platform on Good Governance say they will hold nationwide marches to protest against the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

The platform says the demonstrations will start on August 23 and are also aimed at encouraging Malawians to return to the pathway of peace.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lilongwe, Chairperson of the group Bright Kampaundi said the nature and form of human rights advocacy embraced by the HRDC is destructive to the fabric of the national existence and cohesion.

The activists at the press briefing

He added that the Civil Society Organisation cannot allow HRDC and opposition (UTM and MCP) party leaders to satisfy their personal egos and narrow political ambitions by holding demonstrations against Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah.

He noted that the HRDC which is disputing results of the May 21 presidential elections did not even place monitors in polling centers.

According to Kampaundi, as CSOs leaders, they will not tolerate the spirit of dishonesty and sheer disrespect as it is not supposed to come from an institution like HRDC that claims to defend human rights.

“As a responsible  civil  society , we together  with fellow peace loving CSO leaders as well as concerned citizen, have decided that we can no longer sit back and watch anarchy taking root in society, we can no longer  allow few individuals masquerading as human rights defenders to distort the true picture and bury meaning of human rights,” he explained.

Kampaundi went on to say that HRDC has turned into an instrument of terrorism because human rights defending is not taking place when a local woman operating a makeshift restaurant at Senti in Lilongwe has her business burnt down and when a police woman is stripped and deprived of her personal dignity.

Last week, the HRDC conducted one Million March demos which ended in looting, arson attacks and teargassing of protestors.

Similar post-election demonstrations by the HRDC in the past months were also characterized by violence.

The organisation on Tuesday said it will hold vigils in airports and borders of this country as a way of forcing Ansah to step down.

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