Human rights campaigners have called for the protection of activists Charles Kajoloweka and private practice lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa who have received death threats.
It is believed regime thugs have sent the threats after they applied for a judicial review of President Peter Mutharika’s decision not to suspend Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda amid a probe into the Zambia maize import transaction.
Kajoloweka confirmed they have received a series of anonymous SMS messages, phone calls threatening their lives.
He said one of the phone numbers used was 0886029732.
They are now taking precautions for their safety.
The human rights campaigners meannwhile calls on the Malawi government to ensure the safety and protection of all human rights activists and that it must investigate the threats and bring those found responsible to justice.
Minister of Information Nicholous Dausi said the threats are not coming from regime thugs, saying the e government will continue to create “ an entente cordiale to everybody.”
Dausi, who is government spokesman, said DPP government is “one of the most tolerant government.”
But Dausi said government will not sit back when people go about making “wild , unsubstantitied allegations; lies, conjectures and innuendos.”
Kajoloweka led the CSOs’ seeking court injunction after Mutharika’s appointment of a commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption and malpractices in the maize import deal between State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and a Zambian company.
The CSOs—Youth and Society (YAS), Church and Society Programme of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia and Centre for Development of People (Cedep)— applied for an injunction restraining Chaponda from discharging his duties as a Cabinet minister pending a further order of the court.
Chaponda, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale and Mutharika are first, second and third respondents respectively in the Civil Case No. 1 of 2017 filed at the Mzuzu Registry of the High Court of Malawi. The case is before High Court judge John Chirwa.
They are also questioning Mutharika’s decision to include in the commission of inquiry on the maize saga some civil servants, whom they argue are subordinates to Chaponda.
Two members of the probe team—Socilitor General and Principal Secretary of Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dr. Janet Banda and Law Commission deputy chief law reform officer Mike Chinoko—are civil servants. The commission is chaired by retired Chief Justice Anastazia Msosa and certified public auditor Isaac Kaira completes the set.
In their plea, the CSOs want the court to, among others, to declare that Mutharika erred in his choice of members of the commission of inquiry.
Documents show that Admarc may have used a private Zambian company, Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Limited that may have been more expensive instead of Zambian government agency ZCF.
But both Chaponda and Admarc CEO Foster Mlumbe claim they used government agency and not middleman. They also say no money has been paid for the maize import until a threshold of 10,000 metric tonnes is reached. So far, it is said only 5,000 metric tonnes have been delivered.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :