Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has threatened unspecified but violent action should the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) proceed to hold protests targeting state residences.
President Peter Mutharika issued what he described as a stern warning to MCP, UTM and HRDC over what he calls attempts to use unconventional means to take over government at the first DPP/UDF rally at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre today.
President Mutharika has since instructed the Malawi Police and the Malawi Defence Force to use force to quell the scheduled protests at his official residences.
“I instruct the IG of Police and the Commander of the MDF to use the maximum force possible,” he warned.
Mutharika specifically mentioned HRDC leaders Timothy Mtambo, Reverend Macdonald Sembereka and Gift Trapence.
“Mtambo and his allies are not bigger than government,” he said.
DPP Regional Governor for the South Charles Mchacha was the first to go to town on HRDC, vowing to meet protesters on the street should they insist on holding the demonstrations slated for Wednesday.
“You have tolerated a lot. The HRDC and (Timothy) Mtambo have gone to extra length in undermining your authority. But we will now step in to cover you. We won’t tolerate it any more. We will protect you, Your Excellency, ” Mchacha told the Blantyre rally.
Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi, who oversees the Malawi Police Service, reiterated the warning.
“Enough is enough. We will now do something we should have done earlier,” said Dausi.
In his remarks, UDF President Atupele Muluzi described the Malawi leader as tolerant and a true democrat.
“If Malawi were another country, things would have gone bad by now. We should be glad to have a calm and tolerant leader. His level of tolerance is admirable,” Muluzi said.
The HRDC recently announced they will proceed to hold what they are calling the 5 Million March Protests targeting State residences.
The protests are being organised to impress on Mutharika to assent to the recently passed electoral reform laws.
The Constitutional Court recently ordered the reforms following a verdict nullifying the 2019 polls citing massive irregularities.
The HRDC maintains that any further delays in assenting to the amendments would impinge on the electoral justice of Malawians.
HRDC, MCP and the UTM are yet to comment on the remarks made at the Njamba Rally.