Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), which organised a nationwide demonstration last year, have temporarily postponed another peaceful protests on March 27 over numerous social ills happening in the country, citing the prevailing disasters that have engulfed the country.
Speaking during a news conference in Lilongwe on Saturday the members of the Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition (HRDC), represented by its national chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his vice Gift Trapence and member Luke Tembo said they will announce in due course a new date for the demonstrations.
“People that were geared to participate in these demonstrations have either lost their lives or livelihoods. It is only human for us as HRDC to join affected communities in mourning the lives lost and intesify relief efforts to mitigate the impact of the floods. We will inforn the nation whenever we deem it fit to carry on with the protests,” said Mtambo.
Taking his turn, Trapence commended various organizations for the timely response to government’s call for assistance and particularly urged the international community to continue supporting Malawi in this time of need.
“We hope that this aid is being really channelled to the people that have been affected by the floods. We urge Malawians to report to us any officials that are abusing the aid so that we can take them to task,” he said.
Mtambo and Trapence then reaffirmed their commitment to defending human rights in the country, clearing suspicions that the cancellation of the protests may be as a result of fear or underhand dealings.
In a statement read out to reporters, the HDRC leadership says the coalition remains resolute on its core mandate of defending human rights.
“We have meanwhile intesified our calls for accountability through the courts and to that effect, have already instructed our lawyers to move the courts on a number of cases bordering on human rights abuses, corruption and abuse of power.
“Similarly, we have stepped up our community engagement and mobilization strategies including holding citizen rallies to empower communities so that they can amplify their calls for accountability from duty bearers.”
The statement also said: “We take this opportunity to remind all including the Malawi Police Service and regime thugs that no amount of terror will intimidate us into abandoning our call and promise to defend human rights. We are aware of all their mechanization to unleash terror on us, but we promise them we are not afraid.”
The demonstrations will be a last push to the government to condemn rampant corruption in the country, killings and abductions of people with albinism as well as shameless abuse of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gurus to their interest and reducing the Malawi Police Service to a DPP wing and attempts to kill the gender equality strides that Malawi has made
The HRDC said it has lost trust in the current regime headed by President Peter Mutharika.
The CSOs have been giving Mutharika several ultimatums, asking him to step down or that he be impeachedFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :