High Court Grants 3rd Injunction Against 21 September Protests

The High Court in Malawi
has granted a third injunction restraining people from protesting against the government on 21 september.

A concerned citizen known as Dr Yohannie Billy Mlombe applied to the court to restrain activists from holding or participating in any protest against government.
The court documents indicate that Mlombe applied for the injunction on grounds that the defendants’ plan to conduct nationwide protests without ensuring peace and security is a threat to national security.

The documents further say such protests pose a threat to business interests.

The order has a lifespan of seven days but leaders of the civil society have since said they will challenge the injunction adding that preparations for the planned September 21 protests are still on.

Spokesperson of civil society organizations Voice Mhone said those who went to seek the injunction against the protests were trying to take away Malawians’ constitutional rights to peaceful demonstrations.

“We are still going ahead. We are challenging the injunctions because Malawians have the right to demonstrate,” he said.

The Malawi business community has always been skeptical of the demonstrations as they suffered during the last demonstrations where there was heavy looting and burning of shops in the cities of Blantyre, Mzuzu and capital Lilongwe and saw 19 people lose their lives.

The recent planned demonstrations did not take place as a team from the United Nations acted as a mediator between the civil society (who are organizers of the demonstrations) and government.

Speaking to Mr Mussa who has shops in the capital city Lilongwe on the development he said “I welcome the injunction whole heartedly, lets face it if we the business community will suffer and currently the economic climate is not good already and this will just bring us down’’

When asked about people’s rights to demonstrate Mr Musa
acknowledged the Malawian rights to demonstrate freely but he questioned the real purpose of the demonstration.

“At the moment I don’t really understand why they have to demonstrate again while the dialogue is going on, I urge both sides to have an understanding because at the end of the day I don’t think demonstrations will solve anything. But a Blantyre resident who refused to be mentioned was not happy with the injunction and see it as another irresponsible and an obstacle to democracy

“Look, last time we had someone similar who confused everyone by getting an injunction late at night and the end result was disastrous, they let the people demonstrate freely and express their anger as the president seems not to get it. @ Malawi Voice

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