President Mutharika, Malawi govt spokesperson hit at Amnesty International

President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday hit back at the Amnesty International and other human rights groups for blaming government after arrests of leaders of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for planning to hold protests aimed at shutting down presidential residences.

Mutharika:  HRDC are a criminal organisation

Two members of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) — vice chairperson Gift Trapence and member Macdonald Sembereka — were arrested Sunday after saying they would organize demonstrations. HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo surrendered to police Tuesday.

Their aim was to pressure President Peter Mutharika to sign electoral reform bills paving the way for fresh elections after Malawi’s constitutional court nullified last May’s polls. The court cited massive irregularities in the vote, which saw Mutharika reelected.

The electoral bills propose a date for fresh elections and procedures to follow in case of runoffs.

Addressing people during the launch of the Shire Valley Transformation Programme Phase One at Chikwawa community ground on, a visibly charged Mutharika called on the human rights bodies to exercise fairness in their criticisms.

Mutharika said there was no way one would describe the activities of the groupings as human rights because they have been destructive to the country.

“What they are doing is not human rights, it’s criminal,” he challenged.

“I am an international law expert and I have been teaching human rights law at reputable universities in the world and I know what human rights are,” Mutharika said.

He added: “You cannot close down the State House; then you are putting the President under house arrest, that’s treason.”

Mutharika said he will advise all security agencies to stop the demonstrations using force.

Paramount Chief Lundu expressed dismay over the recent developments in the country and said that it is now time for the president to act and put to an end all the lawlessness.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha said Malawians and churches should be cautious with some of the HRDC leaders, saying most of them have a hidden agenda as they are the same people that were advocating for legislation of homosexuality in the country.

But Amnesty International says the arrests are a government attempt to crack down on dissenting views.

The international human rights body has asked Malawi authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release the detained activists.”

“The activists simply stated their intention, which is allowed under freedom of expression,” said Vongai Chikwanda, Amnesty International’s campaigner for Southern Africa. “The crime has not been committed. So are you arresting people before the crime has been committed? However, the police should have simply said, ‘According to our laws, this is what the penal code says in relation to what has been proposed.’ It does not warrant an arrest.”

The arrests were made just hours after Mutharika denounced the planned protest at a Blantyre political rally and ordered security to stop the group.

Mark Botoman, the Malawi government’s spokesperson, said those condemning the government are ignorant on the country’s laws.

“I think you understand that Amnesty International does not live in Malawi,” he said. “They may have connections in Malawi, they may be fed with information from here, but I think the context of the matter is these people have been arrested because they are suspected to have committed a crime. And in our country, whether you are a human rights defender or anyone else, including myself as a minister, if I break the law, the long arm of law can catch up with me.”

Meanwhile, a court in Lilongwe will rule on the bail application on Thursday.

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Malawi belong to the citizens

Robert Mugabe was put under house arrest but it was not treason don’t lie Munthalika.Professor was bodza.koma adpp anakafika kustate house akufuna ndalama zomwe adalonjezedwa no treason, that nepotism baba.

Muhango
8 months ago

True, this stupid amnesty international is simply another criminal organization aimed at destabilizing other countries. Shame on their biased approach to issues.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
8 months ago

International law expert, kikikikiiiiiiii. What an insult to the profession and to the experts. An expert who cannot understand how to UNLOCK TRADE (if you know you know). Btw, where did agogo get his education, let alone the universities he lectured (if he ever did anyway)

Phumundu
Phumundu
8 months ago

kkkkkkkkkkk ndiye titani adad?

Gertrude Pitala
Gertrude Pitala
8 months ago

A law expert, my foot! This dude wants to enjoy human rights while denying others the same. When your cadets harass MP’s in full view of the police at Parliament, is that human rights? When you conive with the Karims of this world to defraud Malawi is that human rights? When your wife is involved in rooting of this country never seen before, is that human rights? When you get the dose of your own medicine you cry the loudest.

Mtete
Mtete
8 months ago

One sign of a dying person is the inability to hear. This seems to be the case with many country leaders.

BigMan
BigMan
8 months ago

A dying horse!

Mike Bamusi
Mike Bamusi
8 months ago

Muthalika I am coming for you, mkamwa mopanda manomo,

Mtete
Mtete
8 months ago

A Gentle Reminder Folks:

Someone paid a heavy price, not so long ago, for ridiculing and rubbishing concerns raised by international organisations/institutions on Human rights abuses or misuse of public resources.
Suffice to say that when one organisation rebukes, others observe and note and this often results in considerable pressure on the country’s Leader.

Just a reminder!!

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
8 months ago
Reply to  Mtete

Akumbutseni!!!
Zinawakanika achimwene awo izi. Matukutuku afinye (MHSRIP).

Locke
Locke
8 months ago

Putting the president under house arrest is ‘treason’???

Is the president above the law?

If the president is found to have committed a crime he has to be held accountable.

Even in Israel the acting president is undergoing a trial for corruption.

Protesting is not treason Mr. President.

I think you need to revise some of your law curriculum; it has been too long since you were a teacher after all.

Power corrupts.

Old timers
Old timers
8 months ago
Reply to  Locke

You are so ingnorant for that comment, is the president on corruption charges, go for civic education, freedom of speech does not mean to incite violence, or threatening to occupy the state House any where in the world even you can ask any one who knows Malawi laws, that’s a treason case you can answer, it’s better for mtambo to with draw his statement and say sorry, that might help him.

Patrick
8 months ago
Reply to  Locke

So has the President committed crime you idiot?

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