BCC reverses decision to bar demos

Blantyre City Council (BCC) has overturned its earlier decision to block the June 20 peaceful nationwide demonstrations organized by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Blantyre.

BCC Chief Executive Officer Alfred Chanza said in a letter addressed to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on Wednesday that all streets were booked for public events from June 18-24, 2019.

BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda told YFM on Wednesday that the decision was reversed following a meeting they held with the representatives of the CSOs.

“We listened to their plea they asked us to consider the decision so we had a meeting with the CSOs, the police and the council,” he said.

Kasunda said they are ready to support the demonstrations and that security details have been assigned.

In his reaction, HRDC Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence, said they are not surprised with the new decision saying people’s right to demonstrate cannot be violated.

“Authorities should know that we don’t beg for human rights. Human rights is not a charity which you have to be given as a gift,” he said.

Trapence said all is set for the peaceful nationwide demonstrations.

“We have met all the authorities including the police in terms of arranging issues of protection of the demonstrators.”

Human Rights Defenders Coalition is demanding the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah for allegedly presiding fraudulent elections.

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