Malawi: Law Scholar Asks Chakwera to Raise Human Rights Issues With Zimbabwe Leader

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba speaks to international observers in Harare (file photo).
29 September 2020

Renowned legal scholar Professor Edge Kanyongolo of University of Malawi at Chancellor College has appealed to President Lazarus Chakwera against being mum on human rights abuses as he visits Zimbabwe this week.

Chakwera is set to leave for Harare, Zimbabwe, this Wednesday on a two-day State visit.

Writing on his Facebook account, Kanyongolo was blunt saying:"During his planned visit to Zimbabwe, the President should not avoid raising the human rights situation in that country."

He clarified that asking Chakwera to do so was not a personal question, but rather a requirement of the country's foreign policy.

"This is not my personal 'ask', but something that is required by Malawi's Foreign Policy, whose section 4.4.5 states as follows: 'Malawi shall endeavor to assert its commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms by raising, as appropriate, human rights concerns in its multilateral and bilateral relations and exchanges."

Under President Emmerson Mnangangwa, Zimbabweans continue to live in the shadows of human rights abuses.

Many commentators have agreed that Chakwera should urge Zimbabwe president to urgently address the country's deteriorating human rights situation.

Under Mnangagwa's presidency, the abduction and torture of critics of the government has escalated, largely without the arrest of those responsible. In the past year, unidentified assailants, suspected to be state security agents, have abducted and tortured more than 70 government critics.

Zimbabwe's security forces have also increasingly committed arbitrary arrests, violent assaults, abductions, torture, and other abuses against the political opposition, dissidents, and activists.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has engaged the Israeli government for possible deployment of security experts to Harare to train local forces on how to effectively contain civil disobedience.


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