CSOs refuses to be cowed by Malawi govt ‘intimidation’: CHRR, Cedep say won’t be ‘hand clappers of mediocrity’

Civil society organisations (CSO) have declared that they will not be intimidated by government through Solicitor General Janet Banda that they reported human rights abuses to the United Nations (UN) to please donors.

CHRR and Cedep executive directors Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence: Petitioned the President over Nacgate

CHRR and Cedep executive directors Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence: We will not be hand clappers

A letter from the UN rapporteur on human rights angered Solicitor General after it contained information that police and government officials harassed CSO leaders in the run up to the January 15 2015 demonstrations which took place across the country.

Banda accused the CSOs who submitted reports, saying they ambushed government with issues which were not raised at country level with her government.

In both the media interview and during her opening speech at the working session of Malawi’s taskforce on Convention against torture (CAT) at Lilongwe hotel on 15th April 2015, the Solicitor General took a swipe to label the CSOs who “frequent” Geneva as unpatriotic who are only hell-bent at portraying a bad picture of government while neglecting the remarkable progress made by government in human rights realm.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs further alleged that the CSOs were just trying to sustain their own donor funding.

Reacting to the accusations, two of the CSOs who have consistently reported human rights violations to rights bodies—Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep)— told Nyasa Times that they not surprised with the “unpatriotic” accusations considering the fact that some other prominent government politicians including the Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa and Minister of Health Jean Kalilani have of the recent past made similar rants especially following the joint anti-‘NACGATE’ [abuses at National Aids Commission] advocacy with the climax of it being the 13th January 2015 demonstrations against bad governance and political abuse and interference.

“Coming from another highly ranked government official is no surprise but rather confirms the existing collective philosophy in the current [Peter Mutharika’s] regime that any actor/stakeholder who decides to expose the current regime gaffes, especially on the international scene, is unpatriotic. Patriotism, according to [Mutharika] regime’s dictionary is merely singing praise of the current regime in the midst of shortfalls requiring urgent national and international response to remedy the same,” reads the statement signed by CHRR executive director Timothy Mambo and Cedep executive director Gift Trapence.

The two groups argued that the government, by virtue of being party to the various UN mechanisms and treaty bodies like Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCCPR), but also African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) gives CSOs their mandate to present their reports.

“However, what is surprising to us on the other hand is to hear such ill-advised comments being echoed by a respected professional but also well conversant with the international reporting mechanisms including Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and other UN mechanisms.

“This is retrogressive in as far as the government’s committed efforts towards protection and promotion of human rights for all in line with the international human rights instruments to which it is party to are concerned,” the two groups said.

Mtambo and Trapence have vowed that they will “never be part of the docile citizenry that tacitly supports mediocrity in the name of patriotism.”

Reads the statement: “ As human rights defenders, we will never sacrifice the social accountability movement, both locally and internationally, at the altar of a professed patriotism.  We will never be part of those hand clappers who entertain mediocrity under the guise of patriotism. Malawians of good will are the best judges of who a true patriot is.”

They argue that Instead of suppressing the CSOs voice in international human rights mechanisms, the government should put its house in order and address the concerns.

The groups said it is “misleading” on the part of government to suggest that CSOs only dwell on the “negatives” while deliberately ignoring the “positives” registered by government.

They said government and the general republic can be referred to all the shadow reports and statements they have presented to appreciate the blend of “positives” so far registered and areas requiring improvement.

“ However, it is imperative to point out that while some positives have been registered there is still more work, even outweighing the positives, in human rights realm that needs government’s attention, and it would be suicidal on our part as a country (government and civil society included) to dwell on singing praise on a few registered successes to the extent of turning a blind eye to areas that require our urgent attention.

The CSOs have vowed that they will not be stampeded from fulfilling their human rights and governance obligations as human rights defenders.

“No dictatorial sentiment, let alone political threats, shall succeed in wooing us to depart from the path of reason. We remain charged up for the noble service in the best interest of human rights for all. We are, and shall remain human rights servants,” concluded the statement.

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26 thoughts on “CSOs refuses to be cowed by Malawi govt ‘intimidation’: CHRR, Cedep say won’t be ‘hand clappers of mediocrity’”

  1. Cymru says:

    Mr Mtambo and your friends (CSOs), government is not intimidating you but is just expressing surprise on the way you have reported to the UN. I believe, there is nothing that could be hidden if there were abuses of CSOs in Malawi even dogs and cats would know it. Many citizens are surprised to hear the claims you are making. Your approach is like gossiping and the UN like what others have already said should have a system of checking what you are claiming. There is UN office here in Malawi and I don’t believe that they can agree to your reporting. Once again you are not intimidated by anybody but people are just expressing their worry on how you want to earn your bread. The problem is that your are bringing politics in this. Rev. Sembereka served in PP government and competed on parliamentary seat in Mangochi on the same party , and therefore it will surprise even a mad person to see him writing anything good for the current government which defeated his party. We wish you to take a neutral stand on such issues. Report real abuses that are proved beyond doubt that they are committed by government. If you exchange words with a minister, remember that s/he is also an individual entity. Malawi is at peace and there is no government interference in most work done by you CSOs. Remember during the demonstrations you are referring to, not many supported you and in actual fact your dreams were defeated as you expected a large number in the street of Lilongwe. I think you need to reform, and you people working in the UN in Geneva, don’t just listen to anything from these CSOs as if it is coming from God. Remember that they (CSOs) have also their weaknesses. Otherwise, we shall assume that you were discussing other issues like of minority rights not CSOs rights.

  2. Biyisikolo says:

    What is happening to Chasowa’s death? Malawians why did you vote for murderers? Why? If one reports this to the UN, is that being unpatriotic? What has happen to 20 July victims? CSO are guardians for our rights its only a mediocre who has a quota system certificate that can’t see this. Why support blood sucking satanists? Are you a satanist?

  3. pwt says:

    guys youshld not lie, who blocked you as youconducted your demos? the lying shows that you have nothing to criticise. you mean if you say things are moving well you wont get funds?

  4. Wanga Woyikonda says:

    Guys these CSOs are not only fools but also killers. They are coming up simply because IMF has shown us its all teeth by $18 mita. They want the IMF and World Bank to stop supporting Malawi. Unfortunately if that happens its the very same useless homos who blow their trumpet the loudest that Malawi should win the donor confidence. Now the government has received such support and look at the CSOs. Without thanking the government for its effort in winning the donor confidence, fancy what they are doing. I thought these CSOs would have thanked the government and encourage it to keep working on economic challenges for better Malawi. They would even have encouraged the IMF, World bank for such consideration. These people are killing us. They are not different from King Goodwill Zweithini of South Africa whose voice initiated the xenophobialism in Durbain. If King Zweithini is commanding his people to xenophobialiase foreingners to the extent of killing them, what makes the difference between King Zweithini and Timothy Mtambo whose voice will see Malawians dying from hunger and simple diseases simply because the Geneva people have closed their taps for supporting the country. Timothy Mtambo and King Zweithin of south Africa are not different. Their missions have the common end as two or three people are likely to die directly or indirectly.So I am of contrary opinion against what these mfwiti have done.

  5. Both government and CSOs are organisations that need to monitored and evaluated.Both of these are liable to errors.In order to have good governance, we need CSOs.CSOs also need government.They are stakeholders to each other.

  6. Chibwe says:

    It is surprising that these morons of CSOs believe it is in order to be confrontational, reporting anything to international organizations and donors and then come back to government and demand transparency/accountability when the damage has already been done and expect the working relationship to be nice? What type of leadership begins with antagonism then dialogue?

  7. CSO wa CSO says:

    CSOs, please be patriotic to your country Malawi which God gave you to live in. If you have any issues, please bring them forward to govt and never be fooled by Chakwera who cannot be president of Malawi.

  8. ENOCH says:

    mbuzi za anthu izi osalimbana nazo in two years time tawona ana a primary akupanga ziwonetsero anyaniwa alipo koma anali zii kodi atumbuka mwatani? dzikoli ndilathu simupindula kanthu kalikonse pa izi za chamba

  9. mwana mulopwana says:

    As of now everything is going smoothly in Malawi but Mtambo and his gay companion are stupid pigs whose actions need to be condemned, They don’t wish the country good and to my look of things, they are lazy pigs who just want easy money from donors, I also want to ask their donors to come and audit their institution because what they are doing is donorgate, it seems they cant work in Malawi and the only thing they can do is to lie about mother Malawi

  10. wochenjera says:

    Gay rights idiots and Tumbukas: Which is closer to you, Lilongwe or Geneva? Why should stuff get to Geneva before it has been shared with Lilongwe. Mtambo, when Brian Banda asked you in a recent Times TV interview about your perchance for smuggling trivia to Geneva, your body language showed that you were guilty and you insincerely tried to defend yourself. Last time you idiots went to Geneva and smeared ill advised dirty against Bingu Mutharikas government, you had thought only Bingu would suffer. The whole Malawi queued at service stations because you imbeciles negatively reported your government to bodies like the UN and other institutions. Please give this government space to rule this time around while you seek fair routes for fundraising for your personalised and tribal NGOs.

  11. MBWIYACHE says:

    We are fed up with these to satans. The real CSOs are fairly observing the country’s state of affairs with sobber minds and make appropriate reports but not these two bustards that capitalise on lies. They lie that their demos were blocked by governmrnt yet everybody knows that they were disturbed by heavy rains. Even if it were not the rains, I dont think it would have been fully patronised because everybody including their fellow CSOs labbled it baseless. Look now they are saying gvt shld compensate the executed Malawians from RSA yet they were not sent by gvt to RSA. And if Timothy and his foreign friend, Trapence are very touched why cant they use the money they hassle from donors to compensate these xeno victims. By the way, next its you Trapenis, you have overstayed in Malawi, xeno for you is around the corner. One day we shall team up and match against you foolish SCOs.

  12. Yosefe Gambatula says:

    The cso are standing up for the voiceless Malawians whom most of them have been denied proper education and are a mass illiterate who are not analytical and critical when looking at things.Can you trust the midnight six who were keeping a rotten corpse to take over the govt in a shady way?Do u think the csos should just watch when madam Mutharika is plundering NAC for archaic tribal grouping of Mulakho wa Alomwe.Is this grouping more important than the health of Malawians?When Pitala mbyofo mbyofo is sick he jumps in the next plane to the US lying to us that he is attending some Gala that happened ages ago.We cant trust the Govt of the midnight six.csos keep the fire burning for illiterate unsuspecting docile Malawians.

  13. chembwiye says:

    The problem is that these CSOs are doing this on behalf of their political opposition masters as well as their pro gay funders, which is unfortunate, therefore, let’s condemn this unpatriotic behaviour. If they have real issues, let them be known to all Malawians and if Government does not address them then they should transparently be reported to their pay masters. But no sensible Malawian would back their stupid pro gay stand.

  14. Mapuyamurupare says:

    CSO are very correct on the Human rights abuses which happened in Malawi during the previous National Demos on NACGATE.
    Why Govt Blocked the peaceful Demonstrations? Very absurd in deed.

    Let people demonstrate peacefully and the CSOs will remain cool.

  15. black and Red church says:

    You will end up critising.

  16. Bertha says:

    Solicitor General don’t fear these sell outs. State reporting ya anzao ma ngos imakhala transparent and they engage their govts not .zathuzi as if they are fighting a guerilla war kunama and secretive just they want funding a guerillaTrapence and CHAR mwatani Kodi

  17. ujeni says:

    Keep the fire burning guys, for too long Malawians are comfortable being docile and sleepy, not this time. Wake them up.

  18. Bertha says:

    Ma ngos phuma why embarrass your country in foreign countrires like that?just to get funding? Surely Malawi does not have systematic violations of human rights as potrayed by these misguided ngos. If anything they could have given a copy of their stupid report to the govt to respond before sneaking out and presenting it in Geneva shame on you

  19. Bwampini Zwelithini says:

    Without siding with either, may l use this opportunity to ask both sides to sit down and talk. Recent xenophobia issues in sa is making me think that we all have a duty to be patriotic to our nation.

    Government and cso need to start listening to each other to make our country home to everyone. Issues of Malawians traveling to other countries and living there illegally bring shame to a nation and therefore need to be discussed thoroughly.

    Corruption which brings down our economy a main cause of illegal immigration must be dealt with thoroughly.

  20. Gonamkulawe says:

    Please the cso s dont be jealoius when others do well i dont get any problem with this current government if u continue God will judge you before hand. Why do you oppose like satan?

  21. I the solistor general is very right CSOs in Malawi are lacking issues hence report hearsays to international bodies. Where were u when billions were looted? may be munanyambita nawo. Malawians its high time we should learn to be patriotic.

  22. Galu WA galu says:

    Mambo and your cronies stop painting Malawi bad. Get a real job.

  23. dickson says:

    she is right. this is not on the scale of RSA and Egypt. these CSOs are making a mountain out of a molehill just to justify their funding! remember of the folk story of the boy herder who cried “wolf!” so many times fraudently that when the real wolf appeared nobody came to help and ate the sheep. when genuine cases of human rights abuse manifest themselves no one will give damn!

  24. Lingayone says:

    Is it about gay rights or so called minority rights?

  25. thinktankmalawi says:

    CSOs are free in Malawi,there is no intimidation,stop acting silly.You just want to be relevant.For long you have wanted President to be commenting on your unfounded accusations but he has chosen to ignore you.Just find other means to sustain your funding that spreading lies about government

  26. Mbolo ziwiri za ku Balaka says:

    Big up guys. When something goes wrong let’s criticize our government.

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