Expedite justice on Njaunju, end impunity -SADC CSOs press on Malawi

Some Civil Society groups, human rights defenders and lawyers working in the realm of human rights and governance in Southern Africa have challenged Malawi government to end the “culture of impunity” and expedite pursuit of justice on the murder of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director late Issa Njauja as well as other cases including the Robert Chasowa and the July 20, 2011 killings.

Munthali: Made the presentation on behalf of SADC CSOs, activists and lawyers

Munthali: Made the presentation on behalf of SADC CSOs, activists and lawyers

They have also spoken against claims of threats to human rights defenders, journalists and ACB boss Lucas Kondowe by condemning and instituting and concluding investigations into the same.

The grouping made these observations during their submission at Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 57th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights currently underway in Banjul, Gambia.

The grouping was represented by Malawi’s Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Governance and Human Rights Advocacy Coordinator Makhumbo Munthali during a panel discussion where focal points presenters from Central Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Northern Africa and Western Africa were providing updates about the overview of the status of democracy and human rights in Africa with special focus on the situation of human rights defenders in Africa.

Munthali in his presentation on behalf of Southern Africa accused the Mutharika administration of “growing intolerance “regime to criticism not only from the Civil Society and the opposition leaders but also from the media.

He said Malawi government has embarked on “a high-level propaganda” against critics who are merely demanding accountability .

The very same period has also witnessed the rise of death threats by anonymous groups –believed to be agents of Mutharika’s ruling party – against human rights defenders like Timothy Mtambo of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Gift Trapence of Centre for Development of People who alongside other reputable activists like Charles Kajoloweka, Billy Mayaya, Moses Mkandawire, Benedicto Kondowe and Kiko Mapunda have been in fore-front in demanding answers from Mutharika over the bloated UN delegation as well as the prevailing leadership and governance challenges in the country.

“However, instead of condemning these threats as well as instituting investigations into the same, Mutharika’s regime has just easily dismissed such claims, further putting the concerned human rights defenders at risk,” argued Munthali.

According to SADC CSOs, all this is coming against a similar recent background of alleged death threats against Civil Rights activist Billy Mayaya, Malawi’s opposition Malawi Congress Party spokesperson Jessie Kabwila and Nation Publications Limited Journalist Rebecca Chimjeka, and added “this does not reflect well about the current political climate which, if not checked from its very nascent stage, may render human rights defenders, opposition politicians and journalists vulnerable.”

He said adding more fears amongst Malawians into the alleged threats is “the culture of impunity” which has characterized the 2011-2012 threats and attacks against human rights defenders, opposition politicians and the media and also the July 20, 2011 killings and murder of student activist Robert Chasowa.

“Despite continued calls by CSOs to investigate these 2011-2012 instances of threats and attacks, the government has demonstrated no political will to positively responding to such calls by either ignoring such calls or merely making some political statements that something was being done just to relieve itself of the growing public pressure and pursuit of justice,” Munthali said.

The rights group add that this has in the long run created the impression the Malawi government has no regard of its international obligations of protecting human rights defenders and also providing a conducive political, social and legal environment for the activities of human rights defenders in the country.

The SADC CSOs then urged the NGO Forum to pass a resolution for Malawi urging the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to call on Malawi government to condemn all the recent threats to human rights defenders, ACB boss, politicians and journalists and also take a step further by instituting investigations into these threats as well as those concerning the arbitrary arrests, death threats and arson of the homes of human rights defenders, some media houses, and politicians between 2011 and 2012.

Amongst the other issues in the region, the SADC CSOs observed the growing concerns of state’s interference and intimidation of the Civil Society in Angola with the specific case of the recent arrests of 15+2 activists and called on the NGO Forum to pass a resolution in support of the recent UN resolution which called on Angola to release the activists and drop all the charges against them. The statement further calls for the reinstatement of the SADC tribunal which was suspended in 2010 by SADC heads of states.

Forum on the Participation of NGOs, popularly known as NGO Forum, precedes the ordinary sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and provides the opportunity for Civil Society groups in the region to identify key issues affecting the region for presentation and address during the ordinary session of the Commission.

This NGO Forum run between 31st October 2015 to 2nd November 2015 in Banjul and attracted participation of NGOs, lawyers and Civil Society groups across the continent.

The 57th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights is scheduled to start from 4th November to 18th November 2015

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Denguzman
Guest

We are all Malawians tiyeni tipewe kusankhana mtundu. Chasowa ndi Njaunju anali Amalawi namunthu wanzeru amene amakonda dziko lake ayenera kumva chisoni ndi mmene awiriwa anafera. Nanga chikanakhala kuti anthuwa anaphedwa ndi Ken Msonda or Jessie Kabwira, bomali la DPP likanalora kungokhala chete? God is watching……….uuu…..stupid politians.

Mzungumbuli
Guest

Pigs are much better than Lhomwes, Snakes are much more innocent that Lhomwes, Lucifer or devil is more cleaner than the Lhomwes. If I were born from a Lhomwe tribe I would have asked the Supreme Court to change my Lhomwehood to may be Ngonihood. I think to born from a Lhomwe clan is unfogivable sin.

Yabulu mwana
Guest

Gasa umanyengana naye uja ? mxiii

Issah njaunju
Guest
Malawian are stupid bcoz are busy politicising every death. No matter we may do whatever but we can’t bring those people back to life. This thing or spirit won’t take us anywhere else. Take America with Ronald Regan, there was no human rights talking shit or with Bush junior no human rights again. Just imagine those brothers and sisters dying because of those leaders. U can’t change thing to better even if u can keep on bringing in different governments, things are beyond redemption. Time is over very soon the judgement is fixed to take place, repent of or sins,… Read more »
levelheaded
Guest
Dyumali, the one who is innocent is the one who is just expressing his mind in commenting like you here. Those that are seen to have been killed, surely they must have wronged big some ruling elite.. If you prevent wronging government directly I assure you brother this won’t fall on you in any way. You will die a death of other causes. Its like preventing HIV aids. If one is involved in an a road accident, people should ask, why only him among all the cars that have passed here the whole days. And why only Njaunju among all… Read more »
bamusi nyadani
Guest

Nkhumba za chilomwe zidzakodza tsoka gona mkuphe sali patali

levelheaded
Guest
Guys help me. Who is this Njaunju? If he was indeed killed by the government, why only him among all those people working at ACB? There are golden rules in life which most of the youths nowadays are missing who in the end yield early deaths. Brethren take it or leave it, there must be a secret to these old people we see these days. For one to get to that age they must have prevented a lot of temptations in life. Governments are there, regardless of who is leading be it a pastor or whosoever,it shall kill because that’s… Read more »
Lhomwe 2
Guest

Palibe nkhani ya Tumbuka,kapena,lhomwe apa, koma chilungamo njaugu sanali ntumbuka,chasowa sanali ntumbuka nde za ntundu zikuchokera pati agalu inu, umfiti bas
i shit….

MSANA WA PETURO
Guest

Pig, pig, pig and more pigs fron the Lhomwe belt! Your level of intellectual development cannot match that of many people from north and centre. I am not surprised with the rubbish you have sput here. It is a reflection of your low intellect.

Tivine
Guest

The truth is that, DPP is involved in this and Peter is aware of this. Peter is protecting the Sacred Cows. Dasusi? Don’t you feel bad about this?

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