Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) vice chairperson Gift Trapence’s family has told state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to apologise or face legal action for what they label “scandalous reporting” on its stories which alleged the rights activist abandoned his sick father until he died on Tuesday.
A letter written by the family lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa of Kawelo Lawyers which Nyasa Times has seen, the family through Patrick Trapence, observes that media reports by MBC have been in a such way that has scandalised the deceased as well as one of their sibling, Gift Trapence as being irresponsible person who did not take care of his father during his illness.
“Mr. Gift Trapence is a responsible human rights defender in the country working as vice chairperson for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).
“The story published by MBC on its website, radio, television as well as on social media has greatly affected his standing and reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking Malawians of the society,” says the letter in part.
The letter says contrary to what MBC has been publishing, the father to Gift was on, until his death, on medical facility which was being paid by Gift Trapence.
In addition, the letter says Gift Trapence strongly believes that MBC is being used by state machinery to fight him for his human rights work.
“Apart from this act being against international guidelines on protection of human rights defenders, our clients believe that the departed soul of the late Harrison Trapence should be allowed to rest in peace without being dragged into political mud,” says the letter in part.
The letter therefore tells MBC to apologise to Gift Trapence within two days or face court action.
The family further demands that the late Harrison Trapence should be allowed to rest in peace without being dragged into political mud as they feel that the family believe this is degrading on the soul of the departed and it is very un Malawian.
The family further notied MBC that if the demand is not adhered to, they will pursue a civil matter before the High court of Malawi against the institution and if need be, any specific officers at MBC where they shall seek legal recourse.