Malawi: HRDC Says Widening Gap Between Rich and Poor Is 'Making a Mockery of Human Rights'

10 December 2019

Hundreds of people, mostly the youth braved rains in Lilongwe to participate in the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) sanctioned march to commemorate the International Human Rights Day and protests against rights infringements the country has witnessed lately.

HRDC Freedom march in Lilongwe. People from Msundwe were ferried to join the march.

Chairperson of HRDC Timothy Mtambo asked Malawians to stand up for their rights.

He said it was deplorable that a few politicians, an elite of the ruling party continue to get richer through corruption whilst the majority of Malawians wallop in dire poverty.

"Poverty is again human rights abuse. We must all stand up against this, we must all stand up against human rights abuses in the country," Mtambo said.

He said time has come to do somethings against inequality between the Malawi's haves and have-nots.

Mtambo said the income inequality is a human rights problem .

The vocal rights campaigner said people getting rich is a good thing, especially when it brings prosperity to others. But he pointed out that the other kind of getting rich, 'taking' rather than 'making', rent-seeking rather than creating, enriching the few at the expense of the many, is making a mockery of democracy and is a human rights issue .

HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence hinted at a number of issues government needs to consider if it is to be seen to be promoting human rights in the country.

He said: "Malawi has made good progress in terms of paperwork on the laws and policies surrounding promotion of human rights. But the implementation is a challenge. There are these challenges because of selective justice... "

There were incidents of violence as some demonstrators pelted stones at some police officers whom they said they did not want to protect them during the march.

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers gave the security to the marchers as the country joined the rest of the world in commemorating Human Rights Day.

Some protesters were ferried from Msundwe where women experienced sex explotation during a police operation that followed the murder of their colleague, Usumani Imedi.

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