Civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have renewed their calls for the impeachment of President Peter Mutharika for his failure to respond to issues raised in their two petitions.
The CSOs have reignited their calls ahead of Parliament meeting scheduled to start this Friday.
In an interview yesterday, HRDC deputy national chairperson Gift Trapence, who is also executive director for Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), said the CSOs want legislators to summon Mutharika during the meeting to respond to questions bordering on corruption and governance issues or risk impeachment.
He said: “We are writing all political parties before Parliament begins this week. We want Parliament to call the President so that he should answer questions.”
But in their responses, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP), the key opposition parties in Parliament, said they need to look at the grounds of impeachment before they can map the way forward.
On his arrival from the United Nations General Assembly in early October, the President said his administration would only address issues raised in CSOs’ petitions through dialogue which his adviser on CSOs Mabvuto Bamusi said has not taken place so far.
Trapence confirmed that the CSOs and the government team have not met on the issue since delivering their petition in September.
But in an interview yesterday, Bamusi argued that government is still committed to meet CSOs. He accused the CSOs of frustrating dialogue efforts.
Commenting on the matter, MCP publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the CSOs were only representing the voices of Malawians because not all can speak on corruption issues taking place in the country.
PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda also said his party would work with other opposition parties to look into the demands CSOs will make.
But DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi denounced the CSOs’ intention of writing political parties, saying “they have a pathological hatred for the President”.