By Special Reporter
Nundwe Cautions Protest Leaders On MDF Provocations
The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) commander, General Vincent Nundwe has warned protest leaders against any provocation of the officers from the barracks when they come in to maintain security during demonstrations .
Army Commander General extended the warning when he was confirming about some soldiers injured when they were attacked in Karonga and suffered variable injuries.
The MDF says soldiers were attacked by some protesters who were holding a vigil at Karonga Roundabout, when they tried to help motorists who were barred from using the M1 to access the road and reach Songwe Border.
The vigil was being held against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah called by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).MDF soldiers had been providing security after the police were chased.
However, some radical protesters who were blocking access to M1 clashed with MDF soldiers.The situation turned volatile, with protesters and MDF soldiers engaging in running battles as the security agency tried to open the M1.
“The Constitution in Section 160 gives the MDF the mandate to provide expertise towards the maintenance of law and order over and above the other roles of defending the sovereignty of the country and the protection of its citizens against armed insurrection, ” he said.
Army chief further said the MDF has acted as back up in shoring up security where police officers were overstretched.
The protesters have often cheered on MDF and heralded the soldiers as heroes whenever they appear at volatile scenes.
However, with the situation in Karonga,the relationship between officers in uniform and civilians during demonstration is likely to be affected.
There is no immediate response from any of the HRDC leaders on the warning from the MDF chief.