Government has banned post-election demonstrations and has warned Malawians that police will use force against any person who defies the order.
In a statement last night, Minister of Information Mark Botomani said government will not grant any permission for demonstrations which the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) plan to conduct from Wednesday to Friday this week.
Botomani said the decision has been taken because all recent demonstrations by the HRDC have turned out to be riotous despite assurances by the organisers that they would be peaceful.
“Government is convinced that conveners of these demonstrations deliberately abuse the right to demonstrate to achieve other ulterior agendas,” the minister said.
He added that demonstrations will be banned until such a time when it is possible for the HRDC to organize peaceful demonstrations.
Botomani advised Malawians to ignore any notice of demonstrations from the HRDC.
“Any person who defies the warning not to proceed with the planned demonstrations and/or not to participate in them will be stopped with necessary force by law enforcers,” he said.
The HRDC has been conducting demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to step down.
The group planned to protest in airports and borders this week but the High Court granted Malawi Revenue Authority an injunction stopping the demonstrations