Malawi rights CSOs hit back at President Mutharika over ‘insensitive’ remarks

Civil society organisations under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have faulted President Peter Mutharika for making unpresidential” and “insensitive” remarks  to influence  a commission of enquiry into attacks, abductions and killings of persons with albinism (PWAs).

Mtambo (L) and Kajoloweka:  Mutharika’s subjective remarks will influence the commission 

During the swearing-in ceremony of the probe team at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Monday, the President advised the team to “watch out for people who may be paid and manipulated in order to provide misleading information.”

The Malawi leader claimed there is a precedent that people were paid to provide misleading information in previous presidential commission of inquiry, citing one that former president Joyce Banda has set to probe into the death of a fourth-year Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa who was found dead at the campus in Blantyre

Mutharika said in the Commission of Inquiry on the death of Chasowa which was led by Justice Andrew Nyirenda, “a police officer was paid money in order to implicate some people.”

He said: “I don’t want anything like that happening in this Inquiry. Don’t allow anyone to manipulate the process.”

President Mutharika added: “Therefore, we expect you to critically interrogate every informer in order to sift myth from reality, and truth from lies. In the end, Malawians expect nothing and nothing but the truth from you.”

However, human rights defenders have faulted Mutharika for what they call interfering in the work of a commission of inquiry.

“We fear that such subjective remarks will influence the commission to look away from such allegations that implicate President Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party officials,” reads a statement made available to Nyasa Times by the CSOs.

It adds : “The expectation of the public was that President Mutharika would stick to giving the commission terms of reference and reporting procedures and deadlines. Telling the commission what to do and what to look for is outrageous. As HRDC, we strongly hold that the commission should be left to do its work— without any executive or whatever interference—independently and professionally.”

The CSOs also fault Mutharika for attacking Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, State Vice President Saulos Chilima, Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) president Overtone Kondowe, Timothy Mtambo and Charles Kajoloweka for their stance against the killing and abduction of  persons with albinism.

“Mtambo and [Charles] Kajoloweka abandoned people with albinism. They left them without food and water. People with albinism are human beings and they have to be treated as humans. They should not live with fear in their own country,” said Mutharika.

But HRDC statement said the  individuals and their respective associations and coalitions are now the object of  Head of State’s wrath “ simply for waking up President Mutharika from slumber to act decisively on the continued barbaric attacks on persons with albinism.”

The human rights defender argued that if President Mutharika really cared about the plight of persons with albinism, he would have not only cancelled his eleventh hour trip to Mzuzu inorder to receive a petition from APAM–an entitle duly recognised in the National Action Plan as a representative of persons with albinism –but also fired his Minister Nicholas Dausi for‘acting suspiciously’ in his statement that the killings of persons with albinism had not reached the level warranting a vigil.

Mutharika appointed eight members to the inquiry on March 5 this year, which includes retired Supreme Court judge Robert Chinangwa who is the chairperson, Abgail Dzimadzi, Paramount Chief Kawinga, Rexa Chalera, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe and Brenda Vokhiwa-Kapenda as the secretary.

Other are the Reverend Timothy Nyasulu and Grace Massa.

But Apam leader  Kondowe, writing on his Facebook page, also faulted Mutharika’s commission of inquiry, saying it does not comprise of people who can ably do the job.

“The membership of the commission is far from the expectations of Malawians with albinism. Where are the experts in the team… pathologist, criminal investigator, legal specialist, human rights expert, an academic, member of traditional healers? Worse more, two members of the commission are from the same organisation. Whom do we want to protect, I wonder?” Kondowe said.

State House Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani said there is nothing wrong with the President advising commissioners during a swearing in ceremony.

He said the appointment of the commission is one of the measures government is taking to ensure that abductions and killings of PWAs is brought to an end.

The swearing-in ceremony marks the beginning of investigations into root causes of killings and abductions of PWAs. The enquiry is also one of Apam’s demands.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Kaka
Guest
Kaka

Ndipo inu olemba stop saying Malawi CSOs but muzikemba kuti Northern region or Tumbuka csos kapena mzuzu csos because kunwera kulibe magulu opusa ngati amenewa

dan
Guest
dan

Utteraces of stupid minds. Thats why our country will not develop because of pepole like yourself. What is wrong with CSO reminding the president of what he needs to project? You are too obsessed with hatred which has numbed your senses to the extent that you are not even able to see the northerners contributions to Malawi. Ukuchitapa uku kukuwonetseratu kupusa ndi umbuli wako. Thaere is nothing really that you were supposed to accuse the whole region for a civil society stand statement advising the president of what he ought to do. It is your own stupidity that has failed… Read more »

Yaphama
Guest
Yaphama

It doesn’t make a sense kufuna kupusisa anthu why up to date the DPP police officers who killed Buleya they not arrested? Maliseche nzeru zamuthera you the truth than the public knw abt killing of Alubinos, Pumbwa ur days are numbered

Bishop msunduni
Guest

We should not blame blame our leaders. On albino killings.Ask people who know the real truth and it is people of third class in the societies who have that concept that albinos can bring worth.We have full story ask us if you can

Kaka
Guest
Kaka

Dzina lot I kajoloweka ndi loipa. Kajoloweka means crook, thief, mbava yoti imaba by theftyby trick s. Che your dictionary

dan
Guest
dan

Please do not pretend to know something you do not Sir.

Mapwiya
Guest
Mapwiya

Anyamata awa amaziona ngati ochenjera out of the 18m Malawians. Koma ndi zitsiru zomwa madzi ometera

dan
Guest
dan

What is wrong with them? Explain your point before you curse

Nyirongo
Guest
Nyirongo

Mulibe nkhani anthu inu. Ngakhale mwana akutha kuwona kuti anthuwa ndiopanda mzeru. Mfundo zakutherani apa.

Cashgate1
Guest
Cashgate1

I also had reservations on the choice of members of this commission. With such complex issue it required a very technical experts to handle it. Otherwise it is a combination of nuisance

chataika
Guest
chataika

Giving advice is not interfering with the work assigned to the commission. If that was by APM was true that some were paid to provide wrong information as to implicate others, to me that was okay. Inu ma CSOs be careful the way you handle ur issues do not think we are all kids that we do not even think and articulate issues. By the way parliamentary committee had its own inquiry and have admitted that there are no markets for the bones of the albinos; what a shame! Govt has been saying the same that the calprits when quizzed… Read more »

psyuta
Guest
psyuta

Kkkkkkkk Koma makape awa, Mtambo ndi Kajoloweka,, ndiobowa ngati chilonda cha kobibila.

john chirwa
Guest
john chirwa

if you are real freedom fighter Mtambo and Kajoloweka why dont you join ana aku ndirande akuka madera around blantyre kumaphutsitsa kuti amalawi asiye za nkhaza kwa athu achi albino?

Central
Guest
Central

Your comment is enough evidence that you know nothing about the roles of CSOs in a multiparty democracy, the meaning of human rights and the meaning of democracy!! Lastly, I suggest it would have been better for you to share this obscenic comment with your colleagues, not to the public like this………………!! Kodi mumaona ngati ambuyanuwo samanyika? And is it wrong to tell the president about the mistakes he has made? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeshi, you’re too brainwashed and m’mene walembelamu zikuonetsa uli ndi udani wopyola mulingo ndi makosanawa such that I am certain you can kill for being told nothing but the… Read more »

Dipipi wa Yudiefu
Guest
Dipipi wa Yudiefu

Obowa ndiweyo chifukwa siudziwa kuti a prezidenti amene ukuwakhalira kumbuyo akuziyika okha mumavuto. Anakangonena zofunika za commission basi osati zanzawo. Chala pano chikuloza kwaiwo ndi ku State House pankhani ya ma alibino ndiye ziziwoneka ngati akufuna kubisala kuti a commission asaloze kwaiwo. Mom’muno muMalawi wina wake analipo minister wophunzira bwino lomwe PhD anapezekapo kumanda kokaguna zizimba kukhoti anangomuchaja ndi tresspass. Ndiye tikumva kuti ena ku state house akufuna zizimba kwa alubino. Maliseche asathawe.

Blantyre
Guest
Blantyre

Koma sangapose mutharika kubowa these guys.

Truth Be Told
Guest
Truth Be Told

I hope you have read the article fully and with understanding. I also hope that you understand English.

Ras Shillo
Guest
Ras Shillo

Iwe mbuzi yachabebe. Opanda nzeru chitsiru

Apoche
Guest

Obowa ndi iweyo kutheka you are behind the sindicate

dan
Guest
dan

Iweyo ndi kape koposa antuwa. Please musalole umbuli ukutumeni chonena. Test your brains if they are mature and infromed enough kunena zomwe mukunenazi abale