Civil society organisations (CSOs) operating under the banner of Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition rare this Thursday winding up their investigations about an alleged meeting between some human rights defenders and President Peter Mutharika where they collected money to stop being critical to government and help propel the regime to hold on to power.
CSOs leaders alleged to have attended the meeting include chairperson for the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) Robert Mkwezalemba, Flyson Chodzi and Bright Kampaundi who run Forum for National Development (FND).
Also suspected to have attended the meeting were Youth and Society director Charles Kajoloweka and Julius Mithi, a civil servant based in Mzuzu.
Kajoloweka said this was the propaganda of the regime working with some disgruntled members of the CSOs to discredit him by putting down his name amongst the “civil entrepreneurs organisations”.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo said the outcome of the probe will determine the next course of action for the fellow CSO officials.
“If we find evidence that they received money from President Peter Mutharika then we will ask the Anti-Corruption Bureau to take action. In addition, we will ask them to pay back to government the tax payer money,” he said.
The Malawi human rights defenders flagged the red flag after the Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani confirmed the CSO members met Mutharika but said he did not know the agenda of the meeting.
Some said the activits came out of the meeting with big brown envelops full of money to silence them from being critical of the President and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
The meeting between Mutharika and the CSOs comes at a time when the other CSOs are unlenting to force the president fire Acting Malawi Police Inspector General Rodney Jose and ministers Goodall Gondwe and Kondwani Nankhumwa on various reasons.
Kajoloweka is one of the leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition who organised the April 27 nationwide demonstrations.
He, alongside Mtambo and Trapence, have become a critical voice of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration who on several occasions have joined forces to take government to account.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :