An investigation by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) reveals that either Malawi News fell for DPP propaganda or the paper was palm oiled by the ruling party’s operatives to report that Charles Kajoloweka had secretly met President Peter Mutharika at State House where the activist also pocketed K2.5 million to buy his silence.
Following an internal probe into the matter, HRDC concluded that the story was the work of DPP mafias to undermine the work of human rights defenders in Malawi from demanding transparency and accountability.
“There have been several instances of state sponsored propaganda intended to tarnish the image of prominent human rights defenders,” reads part of the statement issued by the coalition of the activists in the country.
The statement, signed by HRDC’s Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, claims that there was no concrete evidence implicating Mr Kajaloweka to have been part of this “secret” meeting.
Malawi News reported on May 26 2018, that Mutharika secretly met renowned activists that included Charles Kajoloweka to help garner the support of the CSOs in Malawi in backing and campaigning for the incumbent to win next year’s presidential race.
The president, alleged the paper, also sought Kajoloweka and his colleagues to nip in the bud the infamous Chilima Movement.
However, following an internal investigation into the matter, the grouping concluded that Malawi News carried a DPP sponsored propaganda to tarnish the image of prominent human rights defenders like Kajoloweka.
HRDC claims that the story by Malawi News was “a ploy by the State to divert the attention of Malawians from real issues, using cheap and failed divide and rule tactics”.
It is however not clear whether Vice President Saulos Chilima’s decision not to challenge President Peter Mutharika at the DPP convention is a direct outcome of the said secret meeting.