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Lazarus Chakwera challenges rights commissioners

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President Lazarus Chakwera Wednesday challenged Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) officials to practice what they preach.

Chakwera said this at Nthunthama State Lodge in Lilongwe, where he presided over the swearing-in of Chikondi Chijozi as a member of MHRC’s seventh cohort, replacing Reverend Patrick Semphere, who died early this year.

“I can think of nothing more tragic than the idea of a human rights commissioner who routinely violates the rights of his or her workers at home, or the rights of subordinates and colleagues at work, or the rights of vendors in the market, or the rights of his or her own children, or the rights of fellow citizens in the public square. Human Rights must be practised, not just preached,” Chakwera said.

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The Malawi leader committed to helping MHRC maintain its A status at the international level and directed Justice Minister Titus Mvalo to work with the commission to fulfil requirements for maintaining the status during next year’s review.

Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi described Chijozi as a reputable human rights lawyer with over 14 years of experience.

Chikhosi said commissioners would soon meet to elect a chairperson to replace Semphere.

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Chijozi pledged to work hard to fulfil obligations of a human rights commissioner.

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