President Peter Mutharika has ordered the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) to use “all necessary force” to stop the planned vigils at airports and border posts.
The planned vigils by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have been scheduled from August 26 – 30 to force Mutharika to fire embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.
But speaking in Mangochi when commissioning two MDF warships and four patrol boats on Wednesday, Mutharika described the planned vigils as “treasonous”.
“These people 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,” he said.
He accused the opposition parties of using HRDC to attempt to overthrow his government.
“Disruptions we are witnessing are not about election but opposition attempt to take over our lawfully constitutional elected government by unlawful means using the HRDC mask. This will not happen in this country,” he said.
Mutharika commended the military for acting with utmost restraint in dealing with the violence during the past demonstrations.
“Regardless of the looting and attacks at our security officers, no single life has so far not been lost. I commend our men and women in uniform for achieving this under difficult circumstances and for listening to my advice,” he said.
However, Mutharika said invading the country’s borders and airports is a different matter altogether and rests on territorial integrity and political independence of the country.
He therefore warned the protesters against going ahead with the planned vigils.
“If HRDC, MCP and the UTM decide to continue with the demonstrations, they shouldn’t say they were not warned,” Mutharika said.