Malawi Police block anti-Chakwera protests in Lilongwe

Malawi Police fired teargas at protesters in Lilongwe

Malawi Police fired teargas while a group of people pelted stones at protesters who were marching in Lilongwe on their way to State House to deliver a petition to President Lazarus Chakwera demanding him to resign.

The demonstrations were led by activist Bon Kalindo who was also arrested last week after attempting to hold similar protests. A court last week allowed the protests to go ahead and the protesters were told to deliver their petition 100 metres from State House.

Bon Kalindo (in Khaki trouser) leading anti-government protesters
Kalindo and other protesters today

However, after they started marching this morning, the protesters were met with stones pelted by a group of people who were waiting for the protesters at Flea Market near Lilongwe Bridge.

Police then fired teargas at the protesters to disperse them.

The police, however, did not take action against the group which was pelting stones and even reportedly allowed them to pass through.

Speaking to the local media, Kalindo said the group that disrupted the protests was sponsored by the state.

People around Lilongwe Bridge after police and a group stopped protesters

“It is really sad that police had to take sides with this group and hurt innocent people who were simply exercising their right to demonstrate,” he said in an interview with Nation Online.

He also bashed Chakwera for blocking demonstration yet his party, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) benefited from the 2019 anti-election protests.

Kalindo then urged opposition parties to join him in pushing for the resignation of President Lazarus Chakwera.

“If the President resigns I will not contest in an election. Not any of our team members. It’s politicians who will contest hence the opposition must show interest in this. Sadly they are quiet,” said Kalindo.

The Police and the Government are yet to comment on the foiled protests.