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MHRCC challenges govt on human rights

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The Human Rights Consultative Committee (MHRCC) has challenged government to guarantee Malawians’ rights and freedoms by bringing to book officers responsible for various human rights abuses in the country.

MHRCC Chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba, said in an interview Sunday that the only way government could guarantee the rights of people in the country is to make sure it implements recommendations made by the commissions of enquiry on Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa’s death and people killed during the July 20, 2011 nationwide demonstrations and fast track on investigating and bringing to book people who murdered Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB)’s Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs Issa Njauju.

“If government fails to address these things, what guarantees do we have that in the near future some people will not be shot down by authorities for exercising their human right to peaceful demonstrations?” queried Mkwezalamba.

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He then said it is of utmost importance for government to quickly send a strong message to would-be-abusers by bringing to book officers who took part in various human rights violations.

However, Mkwezalamba said although Malawi has made significant progress in adopting and passing of various legal instruments to combat human rights abuse, the country has a long way to go in as far as enforcement of those instruments is concerned.

On the other hand, he said Malawians are yet to fully understand their rights and responsibilities as witnessed by increased instances of mob justice in the country.

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“We have the best legislations in as far guarding against abuses is concerned but when you look on the ground, there is nothing much to show, high poverty rates, theft in the highest places and failure by authorities to implement recommendations made by various commissions of enquiries.

“As a country we have a lot of unresolved commission of enquiry reports, we are killing each other through mob justice, so we are yet to reach the desired level where people understand their rights and responsibilities and start demanding various services from authorities,” said Mkwezalamba.

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