Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters in Mzuzu on Friday joined their colleagues in other parts of the country in protesting the May 21 Tripartite Election results.
The protesters marched from MCP offices near Court House, through Shoprite Roundabout, to Vigwagwa Market, before returning to the M1 Road and ended with a brief vigil at the Court House.
During the protest march—which was largely peaceful—MCP supporters sang with sorrow, complaining how MEC allegedly allowed tippexed results when, in fact, the correction fluid was not supposed to be a part of the process.
They sang: “Tikulira visola vithu mwiba, tikulira mwatolankhu Tippex uyu? Mwabankhungu imwe, fumanipo pampando, wanangwa withu mukutipokerachi? [We cry for our elections, where did you get the Tippex? You thieves, get out of offices, why are you robbing us of our rights?]”.
They proclaimed the names of their party leader Lazarus Chakwera, Saulos Chilima of UTM and Joyce Banda of People’s Party, while questioning why MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah allegedly punished Malawians by declaring Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the May 21 presidential election winner.
Interestingly, a UTM van with a public address system was also moving about in town, asking people to patronise a rally for its leader [Chilima] to be held today at the Mzuzu Upper Stadium.
On their placards, protesters displayed messages expressing displeasure with the whole electoral process, promising to fight to the end so that justice prevails.
In an interview, Mzuzu MCP district chairperson Joseph Chavura said they were joining the protests which started in Lilongwe to send a strong message to MEC.
“The message we have is just simple! We are not happy with a ‘Tippex Government’, we are not happy with ‘Tippex elections’ and we don’t want this ‘Tippex MEC’ to continue. We have started and we will continue, we will bring this down and we will not leave any stone unturned. We want a re-run so that the will of the people is respected,” he said.
Out of 6 859 570 registered voters, 5 105 983 turned up for polling representing 74.44 percent. A total of 74 719 votes were declared null and void representing 1.09 percent, according to MEC.
Mutharika retained the presidency with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent trailed by MCP’s Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes (35.41 percent).
The country’s immediate past vice-president, who led UTM Party came third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.
On Monday, MCP supporters ran amok in Lilongwe and raided the seat of government, Capital Hill where business ground to a halt as civil servants abandoned their offices.
The protesters’ march from MCP headquarters at City Centre to Capital Hill was themed Mutharika Must Fall and meant to exert pressure on Mutharika, who has been sworn in for a second five-year term of office, to step down.
A similar march was also held in Blantyre where scores of MCP supporters braved rain showers and walked from the party’s regional offices near Independence Arch to Blantyre central business district through Masauko Chipembere Highway.n