09 August 2020
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Wednesday, 21 August 2019 21:24

President Mutharika directs Police, MDF to stop demonstrations

Written by  Thokozire Mtonga & Tionge Kasolota
President Mutharika confers with MDF Commander General Vinecent Nundwe in Mangochi - Pic by Abel Ikiloni President Mutharika confers with MDF Commander General Vinecent Nundwe in Mangochi - Pic by Abel Ikiloni

Mangochi, August 21, 2019: President Peter Mutharika has directed the police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to use force in stopping the airport and border posts mass protests which are being planned by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

Mutharika gave the directive on Wednesday when he presided over the commissioning of the MDF warships at the Maritime Force Headquarters in Monkey Bay, Mangochi.

The directive comes at a time the HRDC is planning to hold demonstrations at the country's airports and borders to force Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Dr. Jane Ansah to resign for presiding an election they claim was marred by irregularities.

The President said what the HRDC and some opposition political parties were doing is to take over government using the backdoor which could not be tolerated.

“As a Commander In-chief, I am directing the police and the army to stop the mass protests which are being organised by the HRDC and some opposition political parties. You cannot take over government using unlawful means, said Mutharika.

Mutharika said it is surprising that four months after the general elections; opposition parties were using the HRDC to cause unrest in Malawi, lamenting that when there is no peace in a country; women and children suffer the most.

“When there is no peace; it is women and children who suffer and since the demonstrations started a lot of both private and public property have been destroyed including houses of police officers and Democratic Progressive Party.

“Let Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and the HRDC put themselves in the shoes of a police officer who worked so hard for many years to acquire the property only to lose it in a day to demonstrators," added Mutharika.

The Malawian leader added that in the country where peace does not prevail; there cannot be meaningful socio-economic development, stability and in the process every citizen suffers.

Mutharika, therefore, commended MDF for ensuring that there was peace and order in the country for the past years, pledging his support in discharging their duties.

“The military will continue getting the best support from my government and let me assure you that your welfare is at my heart. Currently, hospital facilities and houses of officers in MDF establishments are in our plans,” he added.

He also appealed to the soldiers to take good care of the warships so that they could serve the nation for a longer period. 

Deputy Minister of Defence, Chipiliro Mpinganjira thanked President Mutharika for approving procurement of the warships despite the current economic challenges.

“I would like to thank your Excellency, Sir, for giving us a go ahead to buy these warships despite their expensiveness and that your government is implementing a lot of projects but you still allowed us to access these ships so that the security is tightened," said Mpinganjira.

MDF Commander General, Vincent Nundwe also thanked President Mutharika for equipping the military with the warships, saying the vessels would go a long way in enhancing the operations of the marine unit. 

“The ships have come at a right time and our job will be easy. We thank you for that. The ships have been named after Muluzi because he is the first president in multiparty democracy and some of the former commander generals who made impact in the force," said Nundwe.

There are six warships which have been named as follows; Ship of Malawi Republic (SMR), SMR Muluzi, SMR Mutharika (APM), SMR Yohane, SMR Chigawa, SMR Maulana and SMR Khanga.