Despite a stockpile of challenges, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has given President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration a ‘fairly good’ rating on the 2016 performance.
In its assessment report of government’s performance in 2016, while criticising the administration for some social and economic problems, CHRR has also applauded government for good work.
CHRR, one of the country’s vocal human rights bodies, isolated 11 issues out of which six have been fairly rated with the remaining five getting the bash.
The assessment comes barely a week after another critical rights body, Centre for Development of People (Cedep) sharply criticised Mutharika for failing Malawians.
Those rated fairly include the enactment of Access to Information Bill (ATI), sentencing of a police officer over the July 20, 2011 killings, government’s response to hunger crisis as well as violence against people with albinisms and sexual minorities, public sector reforms and the decision to stick to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
However, the rights body has taken a swipe at government’s poor show on fighting corruption, threats to human rights defenders, journalists and opposition politicians, the rising insecurity, persistent water shortages and electricity blackouts and unwarranted closure of public universities.
Further, the organisation has also advised government to enhance its efforts in all the commended areas such as considering reducing maize price which is currently at K12 500.
On the same, CHRR has called on the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to urgently institute investigations into the maize purchase from Zambia following suspected reports of corruption.
“ACB should be seen to be proactive in fighting corruption rather than waiting for a complaint, as we have recently been made to believe,” reads the report.
But reacting to the assessment, presidential adviser on civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Mavuto Bamusi said CHRR’s applause was as a result of a commitment government made both within and outside the DPP manifesto.
“This means that amidst the economic challenges it is still possible to do other things better and live within the available resources,” he said.