Malawi’s leading human rights non-governmental organizations Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)and Centre for Development of People (Cedep) have applauded the recent decision by government to appear before the 56th session of African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights which will commence from the 1st December to 17th December 2014 in Banjul Gambia where the country’s maiden report, which was submitted in 2012, will be discussed and reviewed.
Nyasa Times has learnt that amongst the issues which the Malawi government is expected to provide an update on the progress made include the mysterious death of a top economist Kalonga Stambuli.
Stambuli was former president Bakili Muluzi Chief Economic Advisor and later was his Chief Executive of an investment bank which failed to kick off.
He was found strangled in his bedroom around Christmas 2003 with a note ’You Are Very Sinful’ by his side.
According to conclusive postmortem results Stambuli died of asphyxia. Another report indicated that toxicological tests also showed that he was poisoned with an organophosphate compound, although he eventually died from manual strangulation, ruling out suicide.
Malawi will also give progress report on murdered Polytechnic student activist Robert Chasowa.
Chasowa, who studied engineering, was found dead at a college campus in Blantyre. Police said he had jumped to his death from a five-storey building and produced bogus suicide notes as evidence.
But a judge-led inquiry ordered by the president, Joyce Banda, who succeeded Mutharika after his death in April, ruled that Chasowa had in fact been murdered.
There will be a report on overnment’s measures towards safeguarding the independence of the Judiciary and desist from making bad comments in public against judicial officers and also ensure that judicial officers are properly remunerated and protected
Other issues will be government’s commitment to allocate 15% of its national budget towards health in line with the Abuja declaration; government’s domestication of international human rights instruments it is party to; government’s compliance with the Francis Kafantayen vs. The Attorney General decisions by ensuring that all murder convicts are re-sentenced as a matter of urgency; the July 20 demonstrations saga.
State parties to the African Charter on human and peoples’ rights, including Malawi, have the obligations to submit reports every two years to update the commission on their promotion and protection mandate of human and peoples’ rights in their respective countries.
However, after 25 years of non-compliance to her obligations to the commission, Malawi submitted its maiden report in 2012 under Joyce Banda’s administration, and this will be the first time for Malawi government to appear before the commission for the discussions and review of the 2012 report which is due for review on 7th, 8th and 9th December 2014.
In a joint statement issued on 12th November 2014 and emailed to Nyasa Times , CHRR and Cedep hailed the Malawi government’s decision, stating that such a move partly demonstrated government’s commitment towards adherence to her international obligations
“By resolving to appear before the 56th Session of African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights the Malawi government has not only demonstrated its willingness towards adherence to her international obligations but also commitment towards the promotion and protection of human rights for all.
“ The very fact that the decision is coming against a positive background of Malawi’ similar maiden historical appearance at the 111th session of United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva recently offers some hope of a better Malawi in as far as respect, promotion and protection of human rights is concerned. It is therefore sincere hope that Malawi will honour such a decision by appearing before the commission in Gambia” reads part of the statement signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, executive directors of CHRR and Cedep respectively.
The rights groups added that the forthcoming 56th session will provide the government of Malawi to update the commission on the progress registered in the promotion and protection of human rights over the years.
“The session in Gambia will hence provide the platform for Malawi government to give the status quo of protection and promotion of human rights in the country, the progress on implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights, and also update the commission on the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations made in the 2012 civil society shadow report” the statement said.
CHRR and Cedep, who also submitted their shadow report in 2012, will represent the Civil Society during the forthcoming session. Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation since 1998 when it acquired the observer status to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights has been presenting and submitting human rights brief reports to the commission highlighting the progress, challenges and recommendations made to the Malawi government on issues of human rights and good governance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :