A political scientist at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi Boniface Dulani says the recent appointment of the civil rights activists into the boards of statutory corporations is government’s ploy to weaken the civil society organizations and rights campaigners that have been critical of government.
Dulani was reacting to the government’s announcement on the appointment of new board members of various statutory corporations.
Among the critical voices that are believed to have been silenced with appointments are consumer rights campaigner, John Kapito, human rights campaigner, Billy Banda and workers’ rights activist, Luther Mambala.
Dulani told a local radio on Tuesday that the move is likely to jeopardize politics and human rights activism in the country.
“I can also say that the appointment of some civil rights campaigners into the statutory corporations in a move by government to please their loyalists,” he said.
Among the activists who had recently aligned with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is Steve Duwa whose organization was in the forefront backing the results of the disputed May 20 elections which many believe was rigged.
However, activist Billy Banda says his appointment as a chairperson for Malawi Gaming Board will not compromise his stand.
“I just feel honored to be appointed, but this will have nothing to do with my role a human rights campaigner.”
Government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa says the inclusion of civil right activist in the various boards shows that the ruling DPP is an inclusive government.