A group of ‘concerned citizens’ led by Philip Kamangila and his two lieutenants have condemned the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for organising what they say were “senseless” anti-governmet protests last Friday and accused the coalition of pocketing money from Malawi’s opposition political parties to finance the demonstrations.
Kamangila, Willard Mhone and Kennedy Mwene Munyapala issued a statement describing the HRDC as a bunch of politicians masquerading as activists.
A grouping calling itself Concerned Citizens on Peace Building and Human Justice has accused Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders of being agents of opposition political parties on the basis of human rights and good governance when in actual fact they are mercenaries.
The remarks were said in reference to the September 21st demonstrations.
Chairperson of the Concerned Citizens, Phillip Kamangira, said the group is shocked with the level of conduct of the CSOs saying they (CSOs) have turned themselves into politicians.
He said this has been seen in the materials that were produced during the demonstrations which depicted a particular political party.
“We have seen that the civil society’s motive is not all that related to civil society work, but rather that of politicians. The messages displayed during the demonstrations reflect that they are opposition political party mercenaries,” said Kamangira.
He appealed to the CSOs saying if they want to do politics they should resign and register a political grouping or better still join an existing one rather than hiding behind human rights issues.
Kamangira said the just ended demonstration was not by the CSOs per se but sponsored by opposition political parties to which he said they have evidence.
But HRDC spokesperson Gift Trapence trashed the accusations, insisting that the coalition is an independent body truly working in the interest of Malawians.
Trapence wondered on what basis Kamangila was making all these allegations.
“He is a state sponsored mercenary and bootlicker just trying to impress his paymaster,” Trapence scolded Kamangila.
“Is it not true that there is theft of public money and resources by the ruling elite in this country? Is there not rampant corruption in the civil service and public parastatals? Are we not experiencing persistent power blackouts? How then could one argue that we are funded by the opposition as we question all these apparent mischiefs on behalf of the people?” Trapence queried.
Kamangila, Mhone and Munyapala claimed they have overwhelming evidence to substantiate their allegations against HRDC.
He insisted: “We are aware of meetings that took place ahead of the demonstrations involving MCP and UTM leaders and HRDC where the political leaders made commitments to fund the protests. Trapence and Mtambo can not deny this”.
“HRDC can take us even to court if they disapprove of what we are saying. We have enough evidence which we will use against them and show Malawians the hypocrisy hidden in the so called human rights defenders,” added Kamangila.
In fact, MCP President Lazarus Chakwera turned up for the protests in Lilongwe and allegedly addressed the marchers.
Meanwhile, UTM Spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga has exonerated his party from Kamangila’s rantings, saying the concerned citizen is himself being funded by the rulling Democratic Progressive Party to attack UTM.
“His claims are unfounded and not true at all. The fact that we share the suffering with Malawians should not be construed that we funded the demonstrations. It is not fair,” complained Malunga.
Efforts to speak to MCP proved futile.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :