Malawi: HRDC Gives 100 Days' Demand to Chakwera Government - Proposes Corruption Court

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5 August 2020

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given President Lazarus Chakwera five points that the Tonse Alliance government led by his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) should resolve within its first 100 days in office.

Among the issues the coalition seeks government to implement, is the need to tackle corruption.

According to a statement made available to Nyasa Times issued on Tuesday August 4 2020, HRDC also wants government to speed up prosecution of corruption cases, ensure independence of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), establish a special Anti-Corruption Court and ensure that all public officials declare their assets.

The call on corruption court comes amidst concerns of failure to prosecute high profile cases and taking too long in concluding investigations.

Observers say in order to ensure that the ACB has effective leadership at all times, recruitment of the director and deputy director should be done competitively through interviews and approval by Parliament.

Chakwera's spokesperson Sean Kampondeni said in the local press this week that the President Chakwera has already taken administrative steps in reducing presidential powers so that institutions like ACB should operate freely and independently to fulfil their constitutional mandate.

In their statement, HRDC also wants government to operationalise Access to Information law, ensure justice on the Nsundwe rape victims, beating of activist Billy Mayaya in Blantyre and murders if former ACB officer Issah Njauju, university student Robert Chasowa, and UTM offices arson victims.

HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said has also called on government as a matter of urgency to increase testing of Covid-19 and get more people to get tested, with a focus on people who may be asymptomatic, such as those working in health and social care and other jobs that involve contact with other people.

The coalition wants government to raise Covid-19 testing capacity to administer 150 000 to 200 000 tests within the next four weeks and a massive production of reusable face masks involving local business and international partners.

Minister of Information and government spokesman Gospel Kazako said the administration "will adhere to timeliness,"

He said on Times Radio: "We will achieve what we can achieve, certainly we are geared."

Chakwera, who has been in power for a month said in a report on his 30th day in office posted on his Facebook page said his administration will implement legislative and administrative reforms in various institutions to prepare for the roll-out of Tonse Alliance promises in the next 40 days as part of completing the nine-party Tonse Alliance-led administration transition process.

More From: Nyasa Times

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