President Banda advises MHRC commissioners to ‘work without fear’

President Mrs Joyce Banda has challenged the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to effectively perform its advisory role to the executive arm of government without fear or favour.

The president made the challenge Wednesday during the swearing in ceremony of seven newly commissioner of the HRC in Lilongwe.

President Banda emphasised: “I am also particularly interested in the advisory role of the human rights commission to the executive arm of government as stipulated in the human rights commission Act.

“Let me persuade you to ensure that you effectively utilize this provision.”

President Banda congratulates Commissioner Mrs Sophie Asimenye Kalinde.-Photo by Mana

She assured the newly sworn in commissioners that her office and Government is open for constructive advice from bodies such as the HRC.

“Let me assure you all that nobody will be arrested by my office and I shall not hesitate to seek advice from your institution,” said Banda.

Banda assured the commissioners of her Government’s support in as far as respect of human rights and observance of good governance is concerned.

She pledged that her administration will remain committed in upholding and supporting the independence of the HRC.

“ My government expects the HRC to effectively position itself as a credible and independent national human rights institution and provide the much needed visible leadership to other players in the human rights sector, including Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs),” said the President.

Speaking at the same function, Law Commissioner, Gertrude Hiwa thanked the president for sparing her time to preside over the swearing in ceremony of commissioners.

Hiwa added: “This signifies the special interest you have on human rights issues of all Malawians and on behalf of my fellow commissioners I really thank you.”

The law Commissioner pledged the commission’s support and commitment towards achievement of equal human rights to all Malawians.

The members sworn in are Mr Marshal Chimangasasa Chilenga, Ambassador Mrs Sophie Asimenye Kalinde-retired, Rev. Dr. Zacchaeus Joe Brian Kawalala, Benedicto Shadreck Kondowe, Mr Dalitso Kingsly Gabriel Kubalasa, Mr Rogers Collins Newa, Mr Stephen Edwin Hendryson Nkoka.

According to Hiwa, this is a 5th cohort of commissioners to be appointed and sworn in since its inception. The 4th cohort’s term of office expired on the 23rd of May 2012. The commission has a total 9 commissioner including the seven that were sworn in on Wednesday.

Rev Kawalala taking his oath-Photo by Mana

Commissioner Newa taking an oath-Photo by Mana

Commissioners of MHRC

Members of the Human Rights Commission pose for a photo with President Banda after swearing in on Wednesday - pic by MANA

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