Ministers assure Malawians airports, land borders will operate normally

Written by  MBC Online

Two Malawian ministers have allayed fears of insecurity during planned demos by HRDC next week at airports and land borders, saying operations will be normal and security provided.


Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi and his Information, Civic Education Education countepart Mark Botomani told a presser on Friday in Lilongwe that the Government will strive to make sure that  Malawi is a peaceful country and stable.


“We will not allow anybody to shut down airports and land borders,” Dausi said, adding that plans to disrupt borders and airports were not in the spirit of peaceful demos but an act of treason.


Dausi said demos will have a negative economic effect on the country, citing the cancellation of the IMF mission to Malawi due to security concerns resulting from political unrest.


He said airports and land borders were protected areas and the Government will protect these national assets.


The HRDC and opposition parties MCP and UTM had planned to hold demos ate at these insttiutions to force MEC Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign over the disputed May 21 presidential vote.


Ansah says she won’t quit until her fate is sealed by the constitutional court, which is hearing petitions by UTM and MCP to have the poll nullified.


She argues that she will not succumb to HRDC mob justice tactics, acting as accuser, jury and judge over her running of the poll in her capacity as MEC chairperson.


Botomani, who is Government spokesman, said the planned demos were an “act of aggression with the aim of undermining the state and threatening national security.”


The Government will not allow security to be breached and the rights of those not taking part in the demonstrations subverted.


Botomani said the right to demonstrate was a not a “supreme right.”


“As such, government wishes to assure the general public and the international community that measures have been put in place to ensure that our airports and borders continue to operate normally during the period of the planned demonstrations.”


The assurance by the ministers comes after Malawian President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Wednesday directed the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Police to crack down on the planned demos, saying the demonstrators should not say they were not warned.


“As President of this country and Commander-In-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force, one of my fundamental responsibilities is t safeguard the territorial integrity and political independence of our beloved country. Without borders, there is no Malawi,” Mutharika said when he commissioned several MDF warships at the Marine Unit of the MDF at Monkey bay in Mangochi.


Mutharika accused Chakwera and Chilima of attempting to stage a coup for backing the HRDC demos.


Mutharika said previous HRDC demos have been unlawful and were characterized with looting, attacks on people and destruction and torching of vehicles, private and public property including health centres and police units.


“Demonstrations are a right but what we are seeing is thievery and burning of infrastructure, including government properties. This is the sole reason we are not entertaining the demos.”

He said peace was one of the country’s precious assets which need to be jealously guarde


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