The 2021 People’s Summit currently underway in Lilongwe has called upon SADC Heads of State and Government to promote rule of law in their respective countries if the region is to grow in social, economic and political levels.
Speaking during the summit in Lilongwe on Tuesday, the Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) board chairperson, Bishop Dr. Martin Mtumbuka, challenged citizens to start holding their leaders accountable on rule of law issues.
“Countries in the region will remain poor forever if there is insufficient practice of the rule of law,” he said.
He observed that a lack of rule of law fuels corruption as well as socioeconomic disorder in countries like improper use of land and natural resources like land and minerals.
Mtumbuka added that there are a lot of challenges the region is facing that disproportionately affected the poor, which needs the civil rights actors to voice out and together with the Heads of State and Government should address them.
He said the region is experiencing high levels of corruption, which are not acted upon by governments despite having institutions that are supposed to deal with, resurgence of Xenophobia.
He further said other challenges include climate change which has brought unprecedented disasters, gender based violence and Covid-19 pandemic that has worsened the situation.
In her remarks, the Presidential Advisor on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Martha Kwataine, said it is important for civil actors in the region to come together to discuss issues affecting the region.
“The challenges facing our nations cannot be addressed by governments alone but it needs collective effort to resolve them,” she said.
She said the civil society organizations are partners in development and compliments governments efforts by providing checks and balances.