Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president (responsible for the South) Kondwani Nankhumwa yesterday offered to initiate dialogue to end the ongoing post-election protests organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
His appeal, made at Nyambadwe Primary School ground in Blantyre where the party held a rally, comes against a background of the decision by HRDC to be holding the demonstrations every Tuesday and Friday to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for alleged mismanagement of the May 21 Tripartite Elections presidential results.
But in his address yesterday, Nankhumwa said despite demonstrations being a constitutional right, they are slowing down businesses in the country which is a loss to the country.
He wondered why the organisers have not been open to dialogue as in recent cases, dialogue has been one of the remedies in resolving disputes among two or more parties.
Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, said: “If no one is not ready for dialogue, then I am ready to initiate dialogue. I am ready to initiate dialogue in the interest of Malawians.”
But in a written response, HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said the best dialogue for them is for Ansah to resign.
He said: “HRDC does not need any offer apart from freeing MEC from Jane Ansah capture.”
In his address at the rally, DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi, who is Minister of Homeland Security, warned organisers of the demonstrations that they will soon be summoned as government is compiling evidence for damages caused by those taking part in demonstrations.
He said: “We are bringing all the evidence together and soon you will be summoned. Get ready.”
But responding to Dausi’s remarks, Trapence said they would not be shaken.
During the rally, some of the party officials that spoke also called on members to remain calm even if provoked, emphasising that they must always remain peaceful.