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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Police officer killed in clashes with protesters in Malawi

A Malawian police officer was stoned to death Tuesday during clashes between security forces and opposition protesters who were trying to prevent a public meeting of President Peter Mutharika from taking place.

The violence occurred in the town of Msundwe (centre), west of the capital, Lilongwe, police spokesman James Kadadzera told AFP.

“We lost a police officer in Msundwe, killed this morning by protesters and criminals,” Kadadzera said. Police officer Usumani Imedi was stoned to death, he said.

Usumani Imedi is the second policeman to die since protests began in Malawi.

According to a witness interviewed by AFP, incidents broke out when police used tear gas to disperse protesters blocking a road to prevent supporters of the head of state from going to his planned rally in Lilongwe.

“The protesters fought back with stones. In the chaos that followed, they isolated a policeman whom they killed with stones, “said Ulemu Phiri.

Motion to quash the opposition

Twelve people accused of causing disturbances were arrested by the police. The city of Msundwe is one of the strongholds of the demonstrators who denounce the conditions in their eyes fraudulent of the re-election of Mr. Mutharika in May.

At the helm of the small country in southern Africa since 2014, the outgoing president was credited with 38.57% of the vote in front of his main opponent, Lazarus Chakwera (35.41% of the vote), according to official results.

The opposition has filed a petition to annul the polls with the courts, which is due to vote in the near future.

His supporters demand the resignation of Electoral Commission President Jane Ansah, accused of covering the fraud. Their demonstrations regularly degenerated into clashes with the police.

Two weeks ago, a 29-year-old Malawee was killed in police custody after demonstrating in Karonga, a northern city, against the re-election of Peter Mutharika.

At his public meeting on Tuesday, the first since his reelection, the president called for an end to the violence.

“This is our country. Do not burn it. Let’s rebuild this nation to move forward, “he said,” Malawi belongs to all, I’m the president of all Malawians. ”

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