Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating under the banner of Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition have exonerated one of their prominent members Charles Kajoloweka, Executive Director for Youth and Society, from an allegation that he attended a meeting between President Peter Mutharika and some members of the CSOs.
The CSOs instituted an investigation following reports that some of their membership attending a ‘secret’ meeting at Sanjika in Blantyre about two weeks ago.
But a report on the investigation has rubbished the alleged statehouse meeting as mere state sponsored propaganda to divide human rights defenders following theApril 27 national wide protests and the attendant petition.
According to the report in our possession, Mr. Kajoloweka did not attend the alleged meeting and that the meeting itself never took place.
“We are of the opinion that there may be nefarious efforts to simply malign his name as well as to weaken his position as a human rights defender. Additionally, this was done to bring divisions and discredit the collective noble and accountability work that the Human Rights Defenders Coalition is advancing” reads part of the report from the committee which conducted the internal probe.
Chairperson of the Committee Gift Trapence has confirmed about the development.
He said they reached out to over 30 individuals who include members of the CSOs and officials from government to establish the truth.
About two weeks ago, Presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalirani confirmed about the statehouse meeting but refused to share names of those who attended.
There has been no immediate comment from statehouse on this latest development.
Kajoloweka is the new voice of government critics who alongside Trapence and Mtambo have taken government to account on a number of occasions. The three were key in the organisation of the April 27, 2018 demonstrations.