Malawi: Hrdc to Meet President Laz Over Malawi Cabinet Criticism

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) says it will be meeting President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to discuss issues bordering on the cabinet list released Wednesday night.

HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence has told journalists in Lilongwe that they have received concerns from Malawians decrying the appointment of members of the same family and alleged failure to adhere to the Tonse Philosophy the alliance has been preaching.

He said they have resolved to engage the President first before taking further action because they believe in dialogue.

Trapence has confirmed to Nyasa Times that the President's office has already given them a nod.

"We have not slept last night because we have been receiving phones calls from all corners of the country as people expressed their misgivings with the composition of the Cabinet.

"As HRDC, we are prepared to continue our mandate of serving Malawians by holding the duty-bearers accountable. Hence, we wish to assure them that we will engage the President [Chakwera] at 1pm this afternoon to present their grievances," said Trapence.

He added that the coalition will provide feedback to the public whatever response the President will give.

The HRDC national coordinator Luke Tembo disclosed that the concerns are coming from all directions, including senior members of the Tonse Alliance.

However, Tembo was quick to clarify that those expressing misgivings are not doing it out of anger that they have been left out of the Cabinet.

"I know Malawians know us for organizing demonstrations. Yes, going to the streets to demonstrate is one of the options we have, but we have chosen to engage the President [Chakwera] first. The major concern is that the Cabinet Chakwera has appointed goes against the Tonse philosophy," he said.

Another executive member of the coalition, Ali Mwachande, vowed that they will not allow the new administration to slide the country back to the era of nepotism, regionalism, cronyism and regionalism, which cost the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) power in the just-ended fresh presidential election.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) acting executive director Sylvester Namiwa has urged President Chakwera to desist from executing an appeasement policy.

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