…HRDC says it won’t sit and do nothing
President Peter Mutharika says he will take all necessary measures to defend and protect the country’s airports and borders from those who want to disrupt the airports and the country’s borders.
Mutharika has since directed the police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to stop “these demonstrations”. This is in reference to HRDC’s proposed demonstrations to take place in the country’s airports and borders from 26-30 August 2019.
However, HRDC’s Vie Chairperson, Gift Trapence said they will sit and watch as people’s rights are being curtailed.
Speaking during the commissioning of the MDF ships in Malindi, Mangochi, a visibly livid Mutharika, said the demonstrations by HRDC, MCP and UTM are not about elections anymore but rather they are about usurping power from him.
He said MCP and UTM are using HRDC to achieve their goal of taking power violently. He went on to say that the demonstrations at the borders are a clear declaration of war on Malawi by HRDC and opposition parties, hence they will be met with “all the necessary force”.
“I am directing the Police and MDF to stop these demonstrations. Should HRDC, MCP and UTM go ahead with the demonstrations, let them not say that they were not warned,” Mutharika said.
Mutharika said as the president of this country, he has a duty to defend the Constitution, ensure the safety of all Malawians, protect the borders and stop what he called thuggery.
“Without the borders, there is no Malawi. These people [HRDC, MCP & UTM] are waging war on our country and it’s treasonous. I have no choice but to take necessary measures to protect the borders with all the necessary force,” said Mutharika.
However, Trapence said HRDC is non-political and is not influenced by any interests other than the best interests of Malawians.
“If Mutharika wants to declare state of emergency, he should follow due process. HRDC will not sit down and watch people’s rights being curtailed. We will seek legal redress to such decrees and impunity until Jane Ansah resigns. The president should know that,” Trapence said.
Mutharika added that HRDC and the opposition have so far, failed to conduct peaceful demonstrations. He said HRDC and the opposition political leaders are undermining the law and they have become “a law unto themselves” and warned that if Malawians are not careful “one day, evil will rule this country.”