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‘Government should negotiate with HRCC’

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MKWEZALAMBA—This is an opportune time

Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) has said there was a need for the government to swallow its pride and negotiate with Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on the way forward regarding the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.

The development comes at a time Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs spokesperson, Pilirani Masanjala, has said the meeting between the involved parties will be held in Lilongwe today.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Appeal stopped HRDC, its chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his deputy Gift Trapence from organising demonstrations for a period of 14 days to give room to talks with Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, on how the former would ensure peaceful demonstrations.

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The AG appealed to the Supreme Court, restraining HRDC from organising the protests.

HRCC Chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba, said dialogue was crucial as it would allow the parties did make decisions on the way forward.

“We believe that this is an opportune time for [the] government to swallow its pride and attempt to reach out to the opposition and, obviously, when that happens, it has a trigger-effect. We also have an opportunity to interface and, understand our roles and mandates.”

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“We are looking at this as an opportunity for both [the] government and HRDC to reflect on the actions and put the bigger picture of the nation [ahead of everything]. If there is no serious discussion, what may happen after the 14 days may be worse than what we have seen or experienced,’’ he said.

When we went to press, Trapence said they were waiting for an official invitation to the meeting.

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