By Synd Kalimbuka
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Wednesday tore apart the petition designed to be presented to authorities at Zomba District and City Councils respectively, after holding peaceful demonstrations.
According to HRDC Chairperson for Eastern Region, Madalitso Banda, the demonstrators tore apart the petition as a sign of tiredness with presentation of the petitions to the Councils.
“We have been presenting petitions several times to the council demanding resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Dr. Jane Ansah without any feedback,” he said.
Banda said time has come when HRDC would be holding demonstrations without presentation of petition to the council as one way of showing anger and tiredness of holding demonstrations.
He added that every time they notify the Council that they would hold demonstrations, authorities use delaying tactics of responding a few hours before the demonstration day.
However, the act of tearing apart the petition did not please most participants who were overheard saying they would not take part in future demonstrations because it has shown that the exercise would not yield any results.
“It is doubtful whether I will ever take part in these demonstrations again,” one participant was overheard saying, adding: “What is the justification for tearing the petition instead of presenting to relevant authorities.”
Poor turn up affected Wednesday demonstrations in Zomba City, as most people who used to take part did not show up.
Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) officers provided the demonstrators with maximum security preventing those with evil intentions from damaging people’s property.
As has been the case before, some participants tried to provoke violent situations especially during misunderstanding with the police and MDF officers as they wanted to block the M3 Road.
At one point, organizers demanded that Traffic Police Officers not to allow any vehicle to pass through the road during demonstration.-MANA