Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating under the banner of Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition have exonerated one of their prominent members Charles Kajoloweka, Executive Director for Youth and Society, from an allegation that he attended a meeting between President Peter Mutharika and some members of the CSOs 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) and and Julius Mithi, a civil servant based in Mzuzu.
But a report on the investigation has rubbished the regime propaganda for claiming Kajoloweka attended the alleged meeting, Chairperson of the Committee Gift Trapence has confirmed.
“We are of the opinion that there may be nefarious efforts to simply malign his name as well as to weaken his position as a human rights defender. Additionally, this was done to bring divisions and discredit the collective noble and accountability work that the Human Rights Defenders Coalition is advancing” reads part of the report from the committee which conducted the internal probe.
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”.
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.
Apparently, the CSOs inquiry established that the presidential palace meeting itself never took place but it was a propaganda work.
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