Civil society organisations (CSOs) have postponed nationwide demonstrations initially planned for Tuesday, to pave the way for strategies for the mass action on August 6 when they will stage another round of protests to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over a flawed electoral process.
HRDC press conference: We are going ahead with protests on August 6
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leadership announced the postponement of the demonstrations during a news conference in Lilongwe on Monday.
During the briefing, HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo said besides the styled 'Ansah Must Fall' protests, the grouping will engage other gears to ensure she resigns.
"Will we stop the demonstrations? Clear answer: No! We are going ahead with protests," said Mtambo.
He, however, said the protests have moved to August 6 to allow organisers work on strategising for massive demos to happen in three regions to be dubbed as 'One million march' where they expect one million marchers from each region.
Mtambo said people from the northern region will be expected to hold one demo in Mzuzu City, those in the central region will march in the capital Lilongwe, and southern region convergence zone will be Blantyre while Zomba will be for the eastern region.
He stressed that when they will go on the streets on August 6, they won't come back until Ansah is fired or resign.
Apart from strategising, Mtambo also said that they decided not to hold demos this week to allow people to mourn Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa of the Lhomwe people.
Addressing the issue of the letter Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service, Rodney Jose, sent HRDC ordering them to stop convening demonstrations in the country, Mtambo said the correspondence was addressed to wrong people.
"We're surprised they are addressing the letter to us instead of the Commander in Chief who can beef up their capacity. Or they should have asked President Peter Mutharika to fire Jane Ansah," he said.
HRDC leadership, nonetheless, applauded Malawi Defense Force for professionally handling the demonstrations and said we want the police "to borrow a leaf."