Malawi: Chilima Tells Police to Stop Threatening Malawians

UTM Party President Saulos Klaus Chilima (file photo).

UTM Party president Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) has cautioned police officers to stop threatening Malawians from exercising their constitutional right in form of demonstrations, saying the excess use of force by the law enforcers is uncalled for in a democracy.

Chilima stressed that people should exercise their right to demonstrate and not fear anything as the National Anthem states UTM rally in Mangochi

In his address on Sunday at St Augustine 3 Primary School in Mangochi during a 'thank you rally' for the support voters in the district gave his party during the May 21 Tripartite Elections, Chilima urged his followers to keep to participating demonstrations organised by civil society organisation (CSOs) who are calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah

Chilima, who served as the country's vice president between May 2014 and May 2019, said he is worried that instead of sticking to their job of ensuring security, police officers are busy unleashing brutality on innocent Malawians.

"We will keep on demonstrating. If people have concerns, they are free to hold peaceful protests," said Chilima.

Chilima claimed he has been tipped of the plot to have hooligans to join demonstrations and pelt Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers so that they should turn against the marchers.

"We are aware of these clandestine plans," he said.

He said there will be more demonstrations against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairwoman Jane Ansah.

Some sections of the electoral stakeholders argue that Ansah and her commissioners failed to manage the May 21 Tripartite Elections which were marred by irregularities, including the use of Tippex to alter some results sheets.

Chilima stressed that people should exercise their right to demonstrate and not fear anything as the National Anthem states.

President Peter Mutharika of DPP was declared a winner of the presidential race, securing his second five-year term.

The results have, however, been challenged by Mutharika's main contenders, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party, who have filed their cases at the Constitutional Court for the nullification of the presidential poll, arguing some anomalies were overlooked.

The case hearing starts on July 29.

In a June 7 2019 letter to Ansah, the UTM Party has also demanded the chairperson's resignation, citing several incidences pointing to her biasness towards the DPP candidate in the May 21 presidential election, Peter Mutharika.

The polarised electorate has led Mutharika--who won the presidency with 38.5 percent of the vote--to face questions of legitimacy not just from his challengers, but also from influential groups such as the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) who say he has carried the day in an election that lacked credibility.

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