Malawi CSOs feud: MaBLEM challenge Sept 7 anti-govt demos, calls for dialogue

The Malawi Civil Society Led Black Economic Empowerment Movement (MaBLEM) taskforce has expressed concern over what it describes as the deliberate fragmentation of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) community in the country, saying the development is making the CSOs and NGOs lose focus.

Mkwezalamba: MaBLEM against demos

CSOs and NGOs are currently coming together to form networks and forums, initiatives they say are helping them serve people even much better.

Notable among the networks and forums are the Joint Civil Society Platform on Health and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

Some of these forums and networks have crashed or disagreed over issues in apparent manoeuvres to outsmart each other.

For instance, HRDC wrote the Global Fund recently disapproving the appointment of President Peter Mutharika as the Champion of the Fund’s 6th Replenishment Campaign.

But the Joint Civil Society Platform on Health disputed HRDC’s claims in another letter it also wrote to the Global Fund.

This brought gross misunderstandings and suspicions among Malawians.

MaBLEM, itself a forum of local CSOs and NGOs, says it is high time organisations refocus on their original mandates and work together towards improving the lives of the people of Malawi.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Robert Mkwezalamba and Coordinator Fryson Chodzi, the taskforce emphasizes that there is strength in unity.

“It is clear that some CSOs are deemed to be supporting the government with the other obvious group, believably supporting the agenda of the opposition. But when all these are given the platform, they claim their actions are on behalf of the people of Malawi,” reads the statement.

It continues, “Our strong belief and conviction is that it takes a wise counsel to criticise or condemn when the duty  bearers are not doing the right things and reward or commend them for doing what is rightfully demanded of them by the citizenry.

“It is therefore counter good governance advocacy strategy to label either activists or advocates as being pro opposition or pro ruling government”.

According to MaBLEM, a progressive NGO or CSO should be able to use both strategies to advance and communicate its agenda.

But the taskforce notes that deeming such actions as divisions and classifications by NGO Leaders has promoted a culture of non-consultation or sharing of both information and support.

“This has made the CSO space shrunk as the society is able to  identify those nosiest leaders of organs as opposed to appreciating the gains either structure is making in their interests,” adds the statement.

With the HDRC unrelenting towards holding another demonstration on 7 September, MaBLEM says dialogue with the government and governance bodies is key towards solving Malawi’s woes.

Apparently, HRDC is not impressed with the authorities response to demands as presented in the ten point petition after mass protests early this year.

“We are questioning the wisdom behind positions where leaders openly denounce dialogue and engaging with the Government over issues of national
interest, yet they expect feedback from the same Government”.

“As human rights defenders, we should be the first ones to acknowledge that every person or institution has the right to be heard. We should also be the first to note that any challenges in Malawi can be solved through dialogue and engagement.

“When we do not want that, then we are portraying that our interest is not to change Malawi but rather to cause chaos and anarchy,” says the MaBLEM statement.

Commenting on the issues, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo  claimed that engaging the current egime in dialogue has proved fruitless.

“We tried on July 20 2011 to dialogue but it never worked , National Aids Commion gate nothing worked, Blue Night issue dialogue never worked, on the K4 billion and PAC has tried dialogue initiatives but they have never worked,” he said.

Political analyst from University of Livingstonia, George Phiri said the feud among CSOs indicates of lack of objectivity on how much politics has penetrated into their work.

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Natty Prince
Natty Prince
3 years ago

@History anthu ngati inu ndiamene mukusokoneza a malawa ndi nzeru zanu zakubazo inu adpp munkati JB ndiwakuba ali kunja mpaka walati yoti JB amagidwa lero JB ali mMalawi mulephera kumanga ndiye apa musaname iwe ungandiuze 13 failosi zili kuti anthu okuba inu mbuzi.

3 years ago

I smell brown envelopes

3 years ago

July 20 dialogue never worked, National Aids Commission gate dialogue never worked, blue night dialogue never worked,4 billion dialogue never worked… what a government! but wait a minute. Were all these what you call dialogues, indeed dialogues or demands? When you enter the boardroom, do you enter with the spirit of dialogue or putting demands with deadlines on government. I want to listen to one of the meetings you hold with government, live or recorded to assess which side is wrong. Dialogues never worked with the current government just like the demonstrations. You want to go back to the streets… Read more »

3 years ago

I am afraid to say that Mkwezalamba and Chozi have received SIKONO. You are part and parcel of a corrupt system. What you are saying can only work with a listening government not DPP. Ask yourselves what is happening with the K145 million that was donated to DPP from Karim. Mind you that can not happen in the West or Asia. It a shame that you do not condemn corruption and call yourself a good CSOs. What human rights are you fighting for?

3 years ago
Reply to  James

@james….am sure when JB and team looted us of billions of our taxes payers money plus stealing proceeds from our jet sells you just coiled urself n said nor did nothing mpaka lero ndi uyu sanabweze kanthu even a Kobo and now she and her son are on the list of malawian billionaires…mukulimbana ndi DPP yoti yabweza ndalamazo….if u r a true malawian go to the street and demand ur money from JB coz sanabweze

Agenda Setting Theory
Agenda Setting Theory
3 years ago
Reply to  History

How much did JB steal? Where is the evidence? The police still have a warrant of arrest at area 30. Why is she not being arrested.?

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