Youth and Society (YAS), a civil society organisation (CSO) that advocates for youth empowerment and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have been jointly named 2018’s “Person of the Year” by Nyasa Times.
Nyasa Times sought nomination from various reputable commentators and analysts to nominate and give reasons for the accolade and has collectively named the Charles Kajoloweka led YAS and Timothy Mtambo chaired HRDC as its “person of the year” for 2018.
Malawi flagship online news platform ‘person of the year’ recognizes “the person or group of people who most influenced the news and the country – for better or for worse – during the past year”. It is decided by the Nyasa Times editorial directorate.
YAS has been steadfast in pushing the social accountability wheels using public interest litigation particularly on the K145 million police ration gate scandal .
Such litigation was crucial in as far as piling the much needed pressure for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to act and also for governing Democratic Progressice Party (DPP) government to acknowledge that the money would be paid back.
However, it is also critical to note that this public interest litigation led by YAS was well supported by other advocacy pressure during the same period by a vibrant Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) led by Timothy Mtambo and in which YAS is also an active member- which kept the DPP government on its toes throughout the year as climaxed in 27 April 2018 nationwide demonstrations.
“ For his country and its future citizens, Charles Kajoloweka has done so much. Without much-enjoying anything close to the limelight, without seeking it or basking in it, Kajoloweka has become Malawi’s saviour,” newspaper columnist Golden Matoga wrote about YAS’s executive director.
Kajoloweka has risen to a prominent governance advocate in Malawi leading the ordinary citizens and the country’s civil society in pursuing controversial accountability queries in government through strategic public litigation.
He won the ‘personality of the year’ accolade for 2017 but he shares it again this time as his organisation has been jointly recognised with HRDC.
On HRDC, Nyasa Times pointed out that the organisation has within a short space of time and under a very restricted atmosphere established itself as the fore most authority in human rights discourse so much so that it has been able to positively influence a number of social, policy, legal and structural issues in Malawi.
HRDC has proved to be the most uncompromised and upright civil society grouping.
It challenges,without fear and favor,the totalitarian rule and impunity and side with the oppressed and marginalized.
The HRDC is leading the fight against corruption consistently champion substantive gender equality; denounce any form of nepotism; call for mediafreedom and exercise the freedom to assembly;demand the rule of law and accountability and always speak truth to power.
The Nyasa Times which has chalked 12 years, introduced the ‘Person of the Year’ accolade in 2010.
In 2016 Nyasa Times named seven youthful Malawians – Wanangwa Msutu, Duwa Mvula, Milca Mphepo, Tiyanjane Kapalamula, Ruth Gondwe, Ivy Chilingulo and Kalolo Msaka -who set off on May 30 for a 362-kilometre 10-day charity walk from Lilongwe to Blantyre to raise funds to buy medical equipment for the High Dependency Unit of Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) paediatric ward
In 2015 Nyasa Times named Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mrs Mary Dominica Kachale as its 2015 Person of the Year or notching 15 convictions in the ongoing Cashgate Scandal, and for remaining unintimidated by potential convicts who may probably be trying all they can to avoid jail.
In 2014 the title went to ‘Malawi Media’ and late journalist Ralph Tenthani for work in informing the masses during the year of elections, playing rightful role as public watchdog and also keeping the nation updated on cashgate scandal.
And the year before that, Nyasa Times named Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito as person of the year because he consistently spoke against bad social, economic and political policies that impact negatively on consumer.
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