Malawi protesters give anti-corruption body 72 hours to arrest bribery suspects

Protesters led by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have given the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) 72 hours to arrest people who attempted to bribe Constitutional Court judges presiding over the presidential elections case.

HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo delivered the petition to ACB Director General Reyneck Matemba at Capital hill in Lilongwe.

Reading the petition, Mtambo said they are demanding ACB to reveal the names of and arrest the individuals who tried to bribe judges presiding over the elections case.

He added that if this is not done in the next 72 hours, the protesters will force Matemba to resign and demand closure of the ACB.

Before delivering the petition, thousands of protesters thronged the streets as they marched from Lilongwe Community Ground to Capital Hill with the Malawi Defence Force providing security.

Mtambo asked the protesters to march peacefully without damaging other people’s property.

He, however, expressed concern over the Police’s decision to impound vehicles which were ferrying protesters from Msundwe.

Protesters

Mtambo argued that the protesters were stopped by the police at Njewa and turned back  because their vehicles were not satisfying traffic regulations yet  police allow overloaded Democratic Progressive Party vehicles to move around the country.

Similar protests were also held in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Zomba.

In Mzuzu, MDF soldiers apprehended some protesters who were stoning FDH Bank and the Northern Region police headquarters and destroying sign posts.

The arrested individuals were later released after the other demonstrators protested.

HRDC chairperson for the North, Happy Mhango, said Malawians are following the bribery case and want the suspects to be arrested.

In Blantyre, demonstrators marched from the Kamuzu Upper Stadium to Kwacha roundabout and then Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital back to the upper stadium.

During the protests, a vehicle used to carry a Public Address System for the demonstrations was set on fire by unknown people, injuring a driver and a Dee Jay.

Chairperson of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in the South, Masauko Thawe, expressed hope that the protests will bear fruits.

He also thanked Malawian for turning out despite the weather.

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