The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HDRC) has denied claims that they are supported by UTM to implicate government officials in the killings of persons with albinism.
HRDC’s Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence say the claims are just cheap propaganda aims at preventing the group from investigating and discussing how government has failed to address the abductions and killings of persons with albinism in Malawi.
This was brought forward at a press briefing which the group organised at their offices in Area 47 in Lilongwe following the statement that groups called Poor and Concerned Persons with Albinism (PACPWA) and Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom(ICJF) released that HRDC is being funded by UTM party to investigate on the killings.
The two groups also called on security agencies to investigate and arrest HRDC leadership for cooking up evidence to incriminate government in the killings and abductions of persons with albinism.
Speaking with reporters, HRDC National Chairperson Timothy Mtambo said that they are aware that PACPWA and ICJF are pro-government organisation and are deliberately chosen to advance their selfish and partisan interest at the expense of the lives of persons with albinism.
Mtambo said that HRDC has a mandate to research and investigate any human rights violations and abuses without the fear or being threatened by anyone and asked the two organizations to desist from being used by politicians since the allegations are defamatory to the leadership of the HRDC.
“We would like to remind the nation that our work in human rights advocacy is evidence based, in this light we have mandate to carry out necessary investigations in order to establish required facts and our advocacy,” he explained.
He said the group’s visit to Domasi Prison on 15th March was solely in line of with the mandate aimed at investigating how and why one key suspect in the murder of McDonald Masambuka a person with albinism was transferred from Zomba Central Prison to Domasi Prison.
Mtambo went on to say that they decided to conduct the investigation considering that recently, Lule Buleya, a key suspect in the abduction and murder of a 14-year old boy with albinism Goodson Makanjira in Dedza was murdered whilst in police custody before conclusion of his case.
“We were alarmed and suspicious upon being informed that Alfred Yohane has been transferred from Zomba to Domasi, and it is nonsense to suggest that the visit was to find dirt to implicate President Peter Mutharika and his government in the case,” he said.
They have therefore urged President Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party led government to ensure that human rights organizations are able to operate freely without interference or intimidation.