Human rights activists in Malawi country have described President Peter Mutharika as a dictator operating in a democratic society following his remarks concerning the Access to Information (ATI) bill at a press conference in Lilongwe.
Mutharika’s press conference was organised to brief Malawians on his trips to Malta, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Among other issues, Mutharika talked about the hunger situation in the country, cashgate, and the ATI bill.
In his remarks concerning the ATI bill, Mutharika said he does not take deadlines and he deliberately did not respond when civil society organizations gave him seven days to reveal the inconsistencies in the bill.
But Timothy Mtambo, executive director for Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation said such remarks shows that Mutharika is a dictator operating in a democratic society. “The remarks made by the president has shown that he does not want to embrace views of the people and only dictators say such remarks,” said Mtambo.
He further said that citizens have the right to request things they need and Mutharika should have looked into the importance of the bill regardless of who is saying it.
“We have observed Mutharika, it is not wrong to call him a dictator as he has been petitioned on many issues including the NACgate, MSB issue, the human rights [Malawi Human Rights Commission] commissioners considering why it was predominantly male, he ignored it all,” he said.
Mtambo added that President Mutharika is not democratic as he always responds in such ways and it is not wrong to call him a dictator operating in a democratic society.