Executive Director for Pan African Civic Educators Network, (PACENET) Steve Duwa has turned down the offer to serve as a board director for Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Esom), saying doing so would be contravening the dictates of his organization that prohibits its employees from political alignment.
“I would rather opt to be where I have been so that I provide the checks and balances on the government operation without any compromise,” Duwa who also heads Malawi Electoral Support Network, told Nyasa Times.
Malawi President Peter Mutharika recently appointed several people including rights activists as board members for various statutory corporations without consulting them.
Among them is the government critic, the Executive Director for Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) John Kapito who was appointed while outside the country.
A political scientist at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Boniface Dulani said recently that the appointment of the civil rights activists into the boards of statutory corporations is government’s ploy to weaken the civil society organizations and rights campaigners that have been critical of government.
Dulani said the move would likely jeopardize politics and human rights activism in the country.
“I can also say that the appointment of some civil rights campaigners into the statutory corporations in a move by government to please their loyalists,” he said.
However activist Billy Banda says his appointment as a chairperson for Malawi Gaming Board will not compromise his stand.
“I just feel honoured to be appointed, but this will have nothing to do with my role a human rights campaigner,” he said.
Government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa says the inclusion of civil right activist in the various boards shows that the ruling DPP is an inclusive government.