Police actions are a threat to our democracy: Analyst

A political scholar has described the disruption of the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations as a threat to Malawi’s maturing democracy.

University of Livingstonia based George Phiri was reacting to the fracas that ensued between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters and protesters led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in Blantyre on Wednesday.

DPP cadets on Wednesday hacked Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) member Billy Mayaya during anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.

DPP supporters later marched towards Blantyre CBD in the afternoon after police dispersed anti-Jane Ansah demonstrators.

Phiri said the HRDC demonstrators were supposed to be allowed to demonstrate peacefully.

“There is no reason why protesters were supposed to be dispersed because that it against the constitution,” he said.

“In fact they were supposed to disperse those who were distracting demonstrations because those were unconstitutional.”

Phiri also faulted the Malawi Police Service (MPS) for firing tear-gas at protesters and patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital a scenario which caused the death of a child and fainting of a pregnant woman.

“If they teargas the hospital, how are they protecting citizens of this country including those who are seeking medical services in the hospital,” wondered Phiri.

Political commentator Emily Mkamanga described the violence and the attack on Mayaya as very bad.

“This is very bad, as you know ever since we have not had supporters of a party as violent as the cadets,” she said.

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