HRDC leaders tell Muluzi they want both peace talks and demos to continue

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While the Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has turned down former president Bakili Muluzi’s plea of suspending demonstration in order to give dialogue a chance, both parties have agreed on the need to sustain peace and co-existence among Malawians.

Muluzi shaking hands with Mtambo, as Trapence and others looks on Muluzi shaking hands with Mtambo, as Trapence and others looks on

The HRDC, under the leadership of Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence, Bily Mayaya and cleric MacDonald Sembereka were meeting Muluzi at his BCSAresidence in Blantyre on Tuesday in order to find a “civil solution”  on violent demonstrations organised by HRDC which aim to force MEC Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign from her post The HRDC and opposition parties MCP and UTM accuse her of rigging the May 21 poll in favour of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

Among others, the HRDC leadership continued to demand the resignation of Ansah.

During the discussion, which was also attended by the media, Muluzi asked the HRDC to consider suspending the demonstration for the next seven days, in order to give him chance to meet the MEC Chairperson and also her appointing authority, who is President Mutharika.

Muluzi has argued that the violent demonstrations were desctroying the country, saying:“We can’t continue on this path. ”

Mtambo said they would rather “have the two processes- negotiations and demonstrations- going on simultaneously," fearing that any suspension to the protests would weather down the momentum”.

Mtambo heaped praises on Muluzi for initiating the process, saying “we have no doubt that he is acting on his own and in good faith. We are a peaceful institution and we love to have a nation where peace reign and where people love each other”.

“We are looking forward to more engagement, not only with the former president but to every one who loves peace,” said Mtambo.

During his tenure as head of state, Muluzi was a peace maker and the Southern African development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) sent him on several peace-keeping missions across Africa.

He remains Chairman of his UDF, which has not regained power since 2005 when late President Bingu wa Mutharika dumped the party to form the DPP.

Muluzi’s son Atupele, who is president of the UDF, has failed twice the presidential race since 2014.

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