MRA wins injunction stopping HRDC demos at airports, land borders

Written by  MBC Online


The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on Friday won its court application to stop the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to hold planned demonstrations at airports and land borders next week.

Malawi's important northern border post Songwe  in Karonga and others will operate normally next week. Malawi's important northern border post Songwe in Karonga and others will operate normally next week.

High Court judge Jack N'riva granted the injunction after both MRA and HRDC lawyers tussled over the issue. MRA said holding the demos at airports and land borders, which are  protected areas, was going to jeorpadise revenue collection and bring negative consequences to the country's economy.

On the other hand, HRDC lawyers argued that only the Police Act stops holding of demos at designated places such as parliament, state houses and the courts and not airports and land borders. They argued stopping the demos was breach of the constituion.


MRA’s director of corporate affairs, Steven Kapoloma had earlier said the injunction was not intended to stop protests but rather to bar people from demonstrating inside MRA’s premises.


“The injunction we are seeking is that demonstrations can take place but outside MRA premises since we are keeping many valuable goods that are under Customs Control.


“They can come to the border, but only up to the gate not inside the premises. They can be there for whatever period they want but not inside the MRA premises. Our plea will be heard at before the High Court at Blantyre Registry on Thursday,” Kapoloma told a local newspaper.


The planned demos has raised fears among the travelling public and businnesses in Malawi. But on Friday, ministers assured Malawians that security will be provided and and all border posts will operate normally.


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