Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have called on President Peter Mutharika to provide an assurance of protection to human rights defenders, intellectuals, journalists and politicians amid reported death threats on some of them.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) said yesterday death threats are no laughing matter that could just be dismissed as such the President needed to condemn them.
In particular, the CSOs have made reference to Blessings Chinsinga, an associate professor at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, who is alleged to have received death threats following his scathing presentation made during the Fifth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in Blantyre organised last month by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC).
In a statement issued yesterday, CHRR and Cedep expressed concern with the alleged threats saying the claims deserve to be accorded a high degree of attention from the President.
Reports say there is a hit-squad plotting to assassinate Chinsinga for being critical of the Mutharika administration’s regime and has been issuing threats after his presentation at PAC conference where, among others, he described Malawi’s Presidents after 1994 as “accidental leaders” who have contributed to the country’s continued retrogressive path in development.
Reacting to the statement, presidential press secretary Gerald Viola said having gone through the press statement he felt “at the moment I don’t think the President is supposed to answer” as the matters raised were allegations against government.
He referred the matter to Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango who said he could not comment on the allegations because he had not seen the statement. n