Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has blamed President Peter Mutharika for lacking national political leadership to deal with the escalating post-election political violence which has so far claimed one life, left dozens injured and property damaged.
“The office of the president, which is the appointing authority of the Malawi Police Services leadership and that of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), is very key to the peace and tranquility of our nation,” says the CCJP.
The CCJP says the governing party should be seen to embrace dialogue and shed off executive arrogance.
CCJP national coordinator Boniface Chibwana says in a statement seen by Nyasa Times that the government of Malawi has blatant disregard for fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Republican Constitution and numerous international human rights instruments.
“Squeezing the civic space for human rights defenders and muzzling the voice of citizens in their bid to seek justice runs counter to democratic tenets,” says Chibwana.
Chibwana says this just a day after rights activist Billy Mayaya and four other anti-Jane Ansah protesters were critically injured in Blantyre after they were hacked by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets.
The CCJP says the violent acts happen in the presence of personnel from legally constituted security bodies as if there is a silent approval of such acts, saying a situation which has potential to encourage impunity and throw Malawi into a lawless and ungovernable society.
The Catholic church body says state machinations and schemes orchestrated by the police, local council officials and the office of the attorney general in deliberately thwarting demonstrations is retrogressive.
The CCJP says the office of the Inspector General of Police has proved to be much compromised politically and professionalism of the police in the observation of human rights during demonstrations is wanting.
CCJP has since requested the Malawi Human Rights Commission to investigate all alleged human rights abuses perpetrated by the police, MDF soldiers, DPP cadets and others during the protests.
The Catholic body has also told the ruling DPP to discipline the cadets and its supporters who perpetrate violence during the protests.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :