Tue. Aug 20th, 2019

Lilongwe protestors break into First Capital Bank, loot shops

Protesters clashed with riot police in Lilongwe on Tuesday, breaking into the First Capital Bank (formerly First Merchant Bank) and smashing its windows in what clearly was a violent post- election demonstration.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised the fresh round of protests in the streets of the main cities to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for what they accuse her of helping rig the May election in favour of President Peter Mutharika.
The disputed May vote has sparked four previous demonstrations and is being challenged in court by the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the UTM Party.
Previous protests have turned violent and the government has said the police lack the capacity to manage them.
On Tuesday after court refused to grant an injunction to Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale to stop the feminist rations, protests turned ugly as people in the streets looted shops and break in the First Capital Bank where some cash has been cleaned.
Several police cars and houses were torched.
Business persons said the demonstrations will have a huge economic effect since most of the property and goods are being damaged.
Several businesses including Kenyan Airways and pay-TV company MultiChoice closed on Tuesday and will remain closed on Thursday, when the case against the election result will be heard.
The crisis has sparked volatility in the Kwacha, the local currency, and led to the stagnation of an already fragile economy.

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