Human rights activists, civil society organizations, lawyers, civil servants today honored human rights activists John So Phiri who died on Saturday at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).
They all converged at Area 47 Cemetery in Lilongwe, the resting place for late Phiri, to honour one of the country’s pioneering human rights activists.
Speaking on behalf of President Peter Mutharika, presidential advisor on Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Mavuto Bamusi, described late Phiri as one of the courageous people who fought for the democracy that Malawi is enjoying today.
Bamusi said Phiri was not an ordinary person in the country in as far as democracy and human rights history is concerned.
Khwauli Msiska, one of late Phiri’s friends, who grew up with him in exile when they ran way from one party regime described Phiri’s death a shock to the nation as well as to people who fought for the country’s freedom.
“We have lost a fighter, father, friend, a person who was very
inclusive and loving,” Msiska said.
Desmond Kaunda one of the person who worked with Phiri from 1997 at Human Resource Center until his retirement last year said he will remember Phiri as one person who had passion about human rights.
Undule Mwakasungula said the death of Phiri has left a big gap in as far as fighting for better Malawi is concerned.
“I mourn a good friend, a father, a man that helped to shape the
Habiba Osman one of the human rights activists working with UN Women, said the country has lost one of the pioneer in human rights, a mentor who helped in the establishment of a lot of youth organizations in the country.
Born in 1964, John So Phiri who was well known as Kaka was among the first people to establish the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation Center (CHRR) as well as the setting up of Malawi Human Rights resource center.
Phiri is survived by a wife and three children.