A policeman was stoned to death in Msundwe on Tuesday, October 8, during clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters amid President Peter Mutharika's first public meeting since the May 21 general elections. According to local sources, anti-government protesters had blocked the main road in Msundwe to stop supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from traveling to the rally. Police forces eventually fired tear gas to disperse the protests but demonstrators fought back with stones.
Additional violent protests are possible across the country over the near term. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration site. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Election-related demonstrations organized by opposition supporters have been held since May 26, after voting irregularities were reported during the May 21 general elections. Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, accusing her of mishandling the presidential elections. While HRDC maintains its demands for Ansah's resignation, there is growing discontent among protesters with President Mutharika and the DPP as a whole.
Individuals in Malawi are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and public gatherings, anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence around demonstration sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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