Mtambo tells UK newspaper ‘Malawi mired in inequality, nepotism, poverty and injustice’

A leading human rights activist Timothy Mtambo has told UK newspaper, The Guardian that  Malawi was mired in inequality, nepotism, poverty and injustice, which is why people were ready to take part in the demonstrations.

Mtambo: Malawi mired in inequality, nepotism, poverty and injustice, which is why people were ready to take part in the demo

Mtambo, the chairman of  Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRC) has been at the forefront of protests following elections in May, which the opposition says were rigged. The results are being contested in the constitutional court.

The HRDC is calling for the resignation of the chair of Malawi Electoral Commission, Jane Ansah. over the alleged mismanagement of the May election, which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected.

Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, has dismissed calls for her to resign, saying she would only step down if the court hearing an elections petition case found her leadership to have failed to discharge its duties.

The grouping, backed by the opposition, plan to shut down airports and borders from August 26 to 30.

Speaking about the petrol bomb which was thrown at his house believed to be a deliberate and targeted move to stop airport shutdown, Mtambo told The Guardian: “ We believe that the attacks had been deliberately orchestrated to instil fear in us. They are making a mistake,” adding: “Malawi is our country and we have the responsibility to say if things are going wrong.”

Threatening the organisers will not work, he said. “It will make the situation worse.”

Members of HRDC said they suspected the petro-bomb  attackers had links to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“This cowardly and malicious attack on Timothy Mtambo’s property is a clear act of intimidation, designed to deter him from carrying out his human rights work,” said Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for southern Africa, Muleya Mwananyanda, in a statement.

“There must be no stone left unturned in pursuit of those who are behind this attack. The authorities must launch a prompt, impartial and effective investigation and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials,” he said.

An office belonging to the vice president of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Sidik Mia  has also been petrol bombed in recent weeks.

Malawian political scientist Michael Jana, who lectures at South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand, said the attacks were “to intimidate and silence the people”.

“It is very unfortunate because this is suppression of dissenting voices which should not be condoned in a democracy,” he said according to quotes reported by French news agency AFP.

Meanwhile, HRDC  has embarked on citizen rallies aimed at sensitising communities of the need for peaceful demonstrations and getting concerns from the citizenry with the first rally scheduled to take place in Karonga District Thursday.

“We would want to raise awareness to make sure that we emphasise to the citizens within the borders that they should be peaceful as they exercise their rights. Secondly, as HRDC, we are developing a citizen manifesto comprising key issues that citizens would want their government to address. So, these issues would be articulated at this engagement,” he told Times Radio.

Mtambo said their target was to reach out to all border districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Mchinji, Dedza, Mwanza and Mulanje with the message of peace ahead of the demonstrations.

“We have been doing activities such as community awareness campaigns, public awareness meetings sensitisation meetings. The rally is not something new or strange. We have started a bit late but, time permitting, we will reach the other border districts,” he said.

Since May 27 this year when the MEC chairperson Ansah declared Mutharika of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winner of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, HRDC has been organising demonstrating demanding that Ansah resign for presiding over allegedly fraudulent elections.

The next demonstrations have been scheduled from August 26 to 30, to be followed by a “two million march” organised in the four cities of Mzuzu, Zomba, Lilongwe and Blantyre on September 5 this year.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
POOR MAN FEEL IT
Guest
POOR MAN FEEL IT

MWAOTCHASO NYUMBA KUMUDZI KWAWO CHONCHI MKUMATI ZOKAMBILKA ZINGAYENDE BWINO CHOINCHO
? APA NDIKUONA ZITHU ZIKUVUTA PA 26 PANO SURE KAYA tiona momwe zithelele

kaukonde
Guest
kaukonde

I was able to eavesdrop on a discussion from people at Songwe who claimed they had been contracted to burn the border post at Songwe <mwanza and Nchinji. Th3ey claim that the army has assured them that they will protect them.

Nambewe
Guest
Nambewe

Kodi iwe Mtambo kwanu ndi kuti iwe? Its about time we asked this question!

Nambewe
Guest
Nambewe

You don’t love Malawi! if you did feel love and care for Malawi you would not organise to destroy it! You would do everything safeguard it! you are evil Mtambo! you are selfish and you want to destroy Malawi by introducing Anarchy in our country! we say NO! NO! NO!

Kaitano
Guest
Kaitano

You mean you don’t know that it is you who is destroying Malawi ?

BIG P
Guest
BIG P

Every body CRYING for peace but none of them crying for justice every body want go to heaven but none of them want to die , there will be no peace till man get justice

BIG P
Guest
BIG P

No justice No peace- iwe ukulilira ntendere osalilira chirungamo chaka chino zikubvuta Ife tikufuna tikoze Kaye chilungamo pasogoro ntendere nsuwusowa apo biii!! Ntendere paribe

Richie
Guest

Demos are a sign of failed system
The organisers are also greedy they want power to their respective region
I would rather they fight for 50 + 1 in parliament where laws are made not in the streets with nyau and thugs destroying property and looting

MASO ENA
Guest
MASO ENA

KAGULITSENI NANDOLO PHIRI!!

Mandado@147
Guest

The International community is watching suckers….

yobu 13 13
Guest

timothy abwere ekha ku blantyre lopitila sazaliona ayi… tatopa ndi zaunsilu ife …konko kuliliongweko ndi ku mzuzu.. we will deal with him we are tired of nonsense ….abwere iyeyo kummwela..kodi munthu wawupandu ngati uyu ….afuna kulanda boma ndi mbava zinzakeko …we are tired of you guys

Graham Zali
Guest
Graham Zali

Kapolo iwe mutuluka mu dziko lino pompano

Lulu
Guest
Lulu

Nyapako wazolowera kuba

Kotakota mtalamo
Guest
Kotakota mtalamo

Gwape iwe yobu 13 13

CheMussa
Guest
CheMussa

You don’t speak for me

TOSH
Guest

thats true ntambo yu are not lying ndiponso tikuwona kuchedwa next week olo atatizutsa ku tulo tikhonza ku ka marcher