Malawi: Muluzi Once Again Asks to Meet HRDC On Malawi Airport Shutdown

Former president Bakili Muluzi.
19 August 2019

Former president Bakili Muluzi has once again asked for a meeting with the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to discuss their planned demonstrations on August 26 that have taken a new direction in that the organizers intend to shut down the airports and borders.

The demonstrations are aimed at pushing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign following the controversial May 21 Tripartite Elections that were marred with several irregularities.

"For the sake of this country, may I propose another meeting between your team and myself to find solutions to this impasse," writes Muluzi in a letter dated August 19 2019 bearing the seal of the Office of the Former President.

"We should endeavour to work at finding peaceful lasting solutions that will keep our country together. As I mentioned to you when we met last time, as a country we will always have problems and differences, and to resolve such differences, dialogue remains the key.

"Please do let me know when it can be convenient for you to meet, preferably this coming Thursday of Friday," said Muluzi according to a letter seen by Nyasa Times.

The former President first opened the letter by saying: "I learnt with great sadness the attack on your home and loss of property. As a person that fought for democracy in this country, I feel ashamed that in this day and age in Malawi we are engaging in the politics of hate and intimidation.

"I believe that for us to succeed we need to accommodate each others' views and be able to build a peaceful and stable Malawi.

"It is imperative that we learn how to co-exist. Having said that I learn with concern once again about your intentions to shut down the airports and borders on 26th August, 2019."

A group of unknown thugs petrol-bombed Mtambo's house on August 15 and HRDC suspects that the perpetrators belong to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadres.

Soon after the incident, HRDC vice-chairperson, Gift Trapence told Nyasa Times that the intention of the thugs was to completely burn down the whole house but their mission did not work out.

Mtambo and HRDC have been in the forefront organising demonstrations to force Ansah to resign for allegedly messing up the May 21 2019 elections whose results are currently being disputed in court.

The HRDC chairperson has been a target for threats for his relentless action alongside other activists in fighting against human rights abuse and ensuring that the Malawi government is working in an accountable and transparent manner.

In August, 2018 thugs again petrol bombed HRDC offices in Lilongwe, leaving a security guard severely injured.

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