Human Rights Consultative Committee chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba has said authorities’ to wind up prominent murder cases in the country is an indication of lack of respect for human rights.
Speaking at the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day in Lilongwe on Friday, Mkwezalamba said the country cannot be celebrating human rights promotion when some of its people were denied the right to life, such as former Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju.
He said: “How these people were murdered speaks volumes in terms of their rights to life. People have been investigated, but there has been slow progress.”
“There was talk to get experts from the Scotland Yard, but six months have gone now without any progress. People deserve to know the truth so that the culprits can be brought to book and the country moves forward.”
But Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said the murder cases cannot be concluded while the British investigators, who may be invited, haven’t even started their investigation.
“I was surprised to hear him say that because that has been a subject of debate in the public domain and we came out in the public after the police said that they had concluded the investigations and did not believe that there was anything else they could do.
“My ministry contacted the British High Commission to help by sending us investigators and they said they will come in to help. They haven’t even sent their investigator and for someone to say we have to conclude before they even begin is absurd. It shows that he is not following what is happening and he needs to take interest to follow through,” he said.
Tembenu, however, said the country stands on good ground in terms of human rights promotion and people the planned demonstration on the Electoral Reforms Bills by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) [on December 13] is an example of people exercising their rights.
“There are challenges here and there. But in terms of Malawi as a country that complies with conventions [Universal Declaration of Human Rights], we are doing well. The reports that come from the United Nations (UN) are very positive about what we are doing,” he added.