The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has questioned the motivation behind an offer the Inspector General of the Rwandan Police, Dani Munyuza, to train the Malawi Police in unspecified areas of skills.
Addressing journalists in Lilongwe this morning, CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa described the offer as suspicious because the Malawi Government has not made any public declaration to say the country needs capacity building for its police service.
Namiwa further wondered why the Republic of Rwanda does not indicate the area its police wants to help in building the capacity of the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
“Given the Rwanda’s human rights record, CDEDI does not think that the Republic of Rwanda is any nearer a model where countries that are striving to embrace genuine democracy such as Malawi, can tap skills, especially for an important institution like the police office which is key in fostering democratic principles.
“Besides infrastructural development Rwanda is making, it is not a hidden secret that there are massive reports of human rights violations bordering on excessive use of force by law enforcing agencies; unlawful and arbitrary detentions; internet restrictions by the State; lack of freedom of expression; human rights activists and opposition political party leaders being silenced through arbitrary arrests and imprisonment based on trumped-up charges; etc. Obviously, Rwandan police take centre-stage in this gloomy picture,” he said.
Namiwa claimed that the proposed offer by Rwandan Police to train local law enforcers confirms his organization’s fear that the recent Malawi Government directive to relocate all refugees and asylum seekers to Dzaleka is politically motivated.
He said CDEDI is worried with the offer, which has come at a time the Republic of Rwanda is allegedly busy hunting down some of its nationals who have sought political asylum in various countries, including Malawi.
“We would like to challenge the Malawi Government to tread carefully with these newly-found good Samaritans because this offer is coming at a time when dust has not yet settled on accusations that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are pushing through Parliament laws have traits of dictatorship,” stressed Namiwa.
In the meantime, the CDEDI boss has commended Malawi’s Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Kainja, for assuring that all the refugees and asylum seekers in the country are free to either return to their home countries or continue living in Malawi for as long as they want.
However, Namiwa emphasized that while CDEDI commends Kainja for his assurance that the police will continue protecting lives and property of the Rwandan refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, it is important to point out that a larger percentage of the refugees that fled and continue fleeing Rwanda are victims of political persecution and infringements of basic human rights.
“That said, much as we respect Inspector Munyuza’s sentiments that he sees no reason for his countrymen and women to continue coming to Malawi as refugees and asylum seekers, reports from the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Department of State of the United States of America, show things to the contrary. It is against this background that CDEDI would like to reiterate its earlier commitment that it will continue lobbying for the integration of well-meaning refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi who are significantly contributing to the social and economic development of the country our country,” he said.
Namiwa warned the Malawi government to desist from receiving offers that may end up compromising the country’s human rights record and democracy, and our hard-won democracy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :