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Peter Mutharika dared on selective prosecution

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The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has challenged President Peter Mutharika on selective prosecution which the commission said is deeply entrenched in the Mutharika-led government.

The commission that was led by its Chairperson, Justin Dzonzi, met Mutharika yesterday for the first time since its institution in July 2015, where it presented a report on the status of human rights in the country.

The report indicated that selective prosecution, interparty fighting, delay in the prosecution of people involved in the murders of The Polytechnic student, Robert Chasowa, in 2011 and Anti-Corruption Bureau official Issa NJauju in 2015, are some of the issues that are undermining democracy in the country.

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Responding to the issues, President Mutharika challenged the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to investigate the K236 billion Cashgate and release the findings and rest the case.

Mutharika said he is tired of sweeping statements that he is shielding the seven ministers that are alleged to have been mentioned in the K236 billion Cashgate that is reported to have occurred during the tenure of the late Bingu wa Mutharika.

“I don’t decide on who to prosecute. It’s the Anti- Corruption Bureau and the Ministry of Justice that have the mandate to prosecute people. The book is open, let the Public Accounts Committee investigate the alleged Cashgate and close the chapter. Those blanket statements are not fair. You can investigate my government and bring the evidence than you should be painting a negative picture that my government is the most corrupt,” Mutharika said.

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Mutharika’s government is coming under fire for failing to fight corruption which many believe is rampant in this country.

In his speech, Dzonzi commended government for ensuring that human rights are observed in the country.

He, however, said the country is not doing well in social-economic and cultural rights, areas he called on the President to put much attention on.

“There is low investment by government in education, health and other social services. As a result, the masses are finding it tough to enjoy these rights. It should be noted that the hard economic times mean that the masses are failing to pay for these social services by themselves which increases their suffering. Unlike when the masses were economically empowered, the scramble for social services would be minimised, thereby reducing pressure on government,” Dzonzi said.

The Commissioners from MHRC were accompanied by the Ombudsman, the Law Commissioner and HRC Chairperson.

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