Governance and human rights campaigner Undule Mwakasungula has asked the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to pay off former Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) instead of leaving the burden to government.
Mwakasungula said the ex-MYP committed various atrocities under the command of MCP and it was unfair for them to claim anything from government instead of MCP.
Citing Namibia’s scenario where government last week told former soldiers of colonial apartheid regime that they would not get anything, Mwakasungula said Malawi should also emulate the example because the people will be paid for torturing Malawians.
Namibian President Hage Geingob, speaking during the commemoration of Heroes Day, told off the former soldiers and asked them to demand payment from their former employers who recruited them “to oppress Namibian people”.
Said Mwakasungula: “Let us follow the Namibia example. The ex-MYPs should seek the benefits from those who employed them to torture Malawians. If they are to be paid, it’s taxpayers covering and that includes taxes from the victims… so it will be victims paying their perpetrators.”
But MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka rubbished the assertion saying MYP was governed by an Act of Parliament as such it was a government entity.
“It would be wrong to deny them what is duly theirs. Like anybody legally employed they are entitled to what they are demanding. Besides, there were things they did better despite their dark side. We, therefore, need to avoid stereotypes,” said Mkaka.
Another human rights activist Robert Mkwezalamba, who chairs the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), said by virtue of being public officers, the ex-MYPs deserved to be paid.
The issue of ex-MYPs compensations started more than 20 years ago when they threatened to sue government for unlawful dismissal from the civil service during the 1994 Operation Bwenzani.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development is currently verifying personal details of the ex-MYPs.