First Mediation talks on Malawi’s political unrest in limbo

July 25, 2019
| Report Focus News

Mediation talks between Malawi’s Former President Bakili Muluzi and leadership of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition to find a civil solution on the country’s political unrest have failed to bear fruits, after the coalition members maintained to continue holding protests untill Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Jane Ansa resign.

The country’s first multiparty democracy President governed the country from 1994-2004, thought of organising a dialogue between him and the coalition leadership after being concerned with impact of the on going post election protests on Malawi’s political and socio ecinomic development.

The coalition, comprised of the country’s top notch human rights advocates is championing the protests to demand for the resignation of the MEC Chairperson for allegedly messing up the recent general election in favor of President Peter Mutharika.

Ansa has, however, maintained she would not resign until found guilty by the constitutional court which is currently presiding over an election rigging case involving two presidential candidates against MEC and President Mutharika.

Timothy Mtambo ,the Chairperson of the coalition, recently said the coalition would be holding virgils twice a week in State Houses with the first supposed to take place last Tuesday, to influence authorities to fire the MEC Chairperson, usually appointed by the President.

The former President, however, asked the coalition leadership to call off the protests until the mediation talks whitch took place at his private residence in the commercial city of Blantyre.

“I’m equally concerned with the current political situation, and continued protests to force the MEC Chairperson step down,” said Muluzi , ” Let me, however, plead with you to call off the protests, I will discuss with the appointing authority to sort out the matter and come back to you with response within two weeks.”

But the coalition members challenged to continue with the demonstrations until Ansa resign.

“Dialogue will only be possible after she resigns and not now,” said Gift Trapence, the coalition Deputy Chairperson.

Meanwhile, the coalition has announced that the virgils are on in all State Houses on Thursday.

But the Lilongwe City Council which gives permission for protests in the capital city, has stopped the demonstrators from holding the virgils in the said areas because they are protected places.

Trapence, however, has challenged the people will still hold the virgils 100 metres away from the State Houses and present their petition to the President as stipulated in the country’s constitution.

Political analysts from the University of Malawi and other universities have supported the decision to hold the protests at the State Houses to influence the President’s action on the public concerns.