Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has said they still have confidence on the integrity of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) despite the changes that were effected in rank and file recently.
President Peter Mutharika fired Army Commander General Vincent Nundwe and his deputy General Clement Namangale.
Nundwe was fired eight months after he replaced General Griffin Spoon Phiri last June.
Addressing the journalists Tuesday afternoon in Lilongwe, HRDC Chairperson Timothy Ntambo said although the change of leadership at MDF raise questions, the grouping still has trust in them.
“We respect the new MDF leadership, these are the people who were within the rank and file of the same MDF that has been hailed as professionals. We will continue respecting institutions that are credible,” he said.
MDF has been on the forefront protecting citizens from the wrath of the police and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets during demonstrations and also provided maximum security to the five High Court judges who were hearing the May, 2019 presidential elections case at the Constitutional court.
The human rights activists have termed the changes at MDF as a wrong target, citing Malawi police as a security institution that need massive change in leadership.
“We know that there are many good police officers but the leadership is bad. The like of the police Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa are the ones that are supposed to be removed,” he said.
This was the first presser to be attended by Mtambo and his vice Gift Trapence after their recent arrests.
Coronavirus and demonstrations
Following the Coronavirus oubreak and presidential measures put in place on public gatherings, HRDC has suspended it’s planned Wednesday demonstrations to state residencies.
Malawi has not registered any Coronavirus case so far.
However, the group had called on government to put up comprehensive measures to fight against the virus.
“We don’t have even a comprehensive strategy and budget for fight fidht against Coronavirus, government should come up with a strategies at both national and district level. We should not rush to give orders without having a strategy, this is a crisis and we need to also have an emergency strategy,” he said.
He further said before the presidential measures, there was need to have consultations with opposition parties as well as key stakeholders on how best to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.
“As much as he has the right to give orders or directions, a good leader is the one who comprehensively consult before making decision on issues of national concern, just like what is happening in other countries,” said Trapence.
Though the demonstrations have been postponed, Trapence said that they are looking into other avenues on how best they can present their grievances to the authorities.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :