Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera will today lead his supporters in a march to the High Court premises in Lilongwe where the court is scheduled to decide on preliminary applications in the elections case.
In an interview on Tuesday, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka confirmed what has been dubbed the March For Justice and that Chakwera, who alongside UTM Party president Saulos Chilima is challenging the presidential race results in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, will lead a peaceful march.
He said: “The court asks for two party representatives. So, during the scheduling, our president with another official will be [present] in the courtroom. There is nothing more he is going to do other than listen to what will be happening.”
A flyer notifying supporters about the march indicates that Chakwera will lead the marchers from Mbowe Service Station near Crossroads Complex Roundabout to the court in Area 3 clad in their party colours.
Malawi Police Service has since said it is ready to provide security to the marchers and has appealed for a peaceful march.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said police do not give anyone a right to demonstrate in the city, but the council.
He said: “Let me assure you that we will provide total protection to them when they will be marching tomorrow [today]. They will have our full protection and we are appealing to them to march peacefully and unarmed, but they should be assured of our protection.”
On Friday, the court adjourned the scheduling conference to this morning when it will rule on preliminary objections by President Peter Mutharika, who is the first respondent in the case, for the court to dismiss the petitions of Chilima and Chakwera, first petitioner and second petitioner, respectively.
Chilima and Chakwera filed separate petitions disputing the May 27 Malawi Electoral Commission declaration of Mutharika as winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes representing 38.57 percent followed by Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes representing 35.41 percent with Chilima finishing third and ahead of four other aspirants with 1 018 369 votes representing 20.24 percent.
The two cited irregularities, especially in the results management process, as some of the factors justifying nullification of the presidential election.