CSOs fault Malawi govt statement at UN on human rights, calls it ‘vague’: Demands Chasowa justice

Two of Malawi’s leading human rights and governance NGO groups Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep) have described Malawi government’s report before the United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland as general and vague.

Mtambo (L) and Gift Trapence : Vague

Mtambo (L) and Gift Trapence : Vague

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, who is leading the delegation, presented the report detailing progress made in areas of human rights since the previous review in 2010.

Tembenu in his report he highlighted the passage of some laws like the protection of children and the enactment of four key legislations on protection of women, wills inheritance, trafficking, marriage, divorce and family relations Act as some of the notable progress registered by government.

However, reacting to the statement CHRR and Cedep —who are also attending the meeting – expressed disappointment on the way the Minister addressed the issue of threats against human rights defenders and journalists, saying it is untrue that rights defenders and journalists have never received threats or being harassed.

“It’s an open secret that human rights defenders and the media were highly harassed between 2011 and 2012 by the same government and these issues were documented and reported to UN. Memories are still afresh when we saw houses and offices of human rights defenders being petrol-bombed and human rights defenders receiving threats from high authorities,” a joint response from the two organisations explains.

The two organisations also stated that government’s statement lacked clear explanation on the reasons behind the delays in state’s prosecution and investigations into the murders of student Robert Chasowa and mysterious death of Kalonga Stambuli.

“What is the status of Dr Kalonga Stambuli Commission of Inquiry report? Why are there still delays in prosecution and investigations into murders of student activist Robert Chasowa and the mysterious death of Kalonga Stambuli?

“What is the progress on the measures taken by the state to investigate and bring to book persons who were responsible for arbitrary arrests, death threats and arson of offices and homes of human rights and political activists in Malawi? What about the July 20 brutal killings? These are issues that we all expected the government to be honest about and explain the concrete steps being taken.” wondered the rights groups

The rights group said the state report was also wanting in providing clear steps on how government would address the problem of under-funding of human rights institutions like Malawi Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman, Law Commission and the Legal Aid Bureau.

The CSOs added that most of government’s responses were “general and vague” especially on issues iof Lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, and intersex, prison conditions, death penalty and also on threats against human rights defenders and journalists.

CHRR and Cedep said such international human rights platforms are not air brushing platforms for government but rather a forum meant to strengthen human rights situation of citizens.

“Government are expected to be honest in their presentation of issues and responses so that relevant and appropriate recommendations and strategies are put forward to them in order to improve human rights conditions of their people” argued Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, CHRR and Cedep directors respectively.

However, the two CSOs commended Malawi government for submitting its report.

They said on a positive note, Malawi has made progress in the areas of child rights and women rights, especially in putting in place the legal framework to protect their rights andr called for effective implementation.

However, the two groups appealed for government’s need to consider the diverse views on the newly passed marriage legislation as part of its short or medium term plans.

“While commending the Malawi government for recently adopting the Marriage, divorce and family relations legislation after years of waiting for its passage, there are a few areas that do not augur well with the international human rights norms which Malawi is party to,” said the two groups.

They recommended to Malawi government to consider reviewing such law in the short or medium term in order to ensure that such grey areas are amended in the best interest of human rights for all” argue the rights group.

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Mlakho wa alomwe chair

I hate these two guys for promoting strange cultural threat segnisms. However let me for once agree wth these two gay promoters that w dont have leaders here that can develop our nation. We have hypocrites, idiots and opportune seakers who have bn in diaspora for decades and are now back to fool us in the name of being patriotic pple willing to serve their nation. When returnees become rulers, what do u expect?!


Africans will be free when we raise up against these puppets leaders of the Europeans. We need leaders sons of the soil who knows and understand Africans culture and traditions

williams frazer Harawa
williams frazer Harawa

ask Joyce Banda since professor Bingu is gone may his sour rest in peace she was the vice president the time chasowa was killed dnt forget tht th country is govrned by th constitution thts why after his death JB took over th presidency and promised to finalise the investigation bfo th end of her 2term period. So why bothering Prof Peter tody? Remember tht he was jst a minister despite been relatd to the head of state. U r failing ur job

The Objective Person

Your hate for the northern people will not take you any where near them. They are a blessed people in our country. I can not hate them because my father was working as a watchman to a certain Tumbuka. Let us continue ruling them and let them continue going to school and continue taking most top company’s and government’s jobs.

The Objective Person

Galu ndi galu sangakhale mphaka iyayi. Chasowa sanamwalire? Nanga sitambuli. 20 People were not killed in that year? Nanga ma institution anenedwa aja amapasidwa ndalama zokwanira kuti ntchito zawo zizikwaniritsidwa?


Ngati mwasowa nazo zochita ndalamazo,tifuufuzileni infa ya amalawi omwe anaphedwa pa zionetselo mu ulamuliro wa abingu wamuthalika chifukwa za chasowa,ndikhulupilila nkhaniyi inafufuzidwa kale ndipo anthu ake mukuwadziwa,koma poti akakhala pa mkhate,paja samatheka kuphedwa khoswe.kwa inu omwe mukanali ndi tsankho kuiwala kuti tonse ndi amalawi,ndikunena2 inuyo bambo kachasssu komanso anzanuwo akuti a male kaya,mundikomela ntima kukawawuza azigogo anu kuti mapazi awo,kamba kokubelekelani makolo omwe abeleka avumbwenu.


There is nothing about ambwenumbwenu in the assertions the CSOs are making. They are talking about Malawi and the false picture being painted by the government of Malawi. Don’t forget soon the problem will escalate.


In general government is doing well. If you wanted those issues to be part of the report, then you need to work together with the government. But since you work with the opposition,you will always be broken people.

John Kachasu

A Mbwenu mbweu mukangwele uko. Instead of working with the Gov. you are busy painting the Gov. bad. You have to be cooperative with the Gov.

Tili Chenene

Are these two boys real Malawians? Their logic is culturally questionable on several human matters

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