Mutharika says radicalised youth being used to perpetrate violence in Malawi


… condemns ‘propaganda that demonises police officers’

President Peter Mutharika has claimed that some political and civil society leaders in Malawi are exploiting poverty of the youth to encourage the young people to engage in violence .

Mutharika made the remarks in a statement released today in commemoration of the International Human Rights Day which is celebrated on 10 December every year. 

According to the Malawi leader, he is saddened that there are political and civil society leaders who use youths in perpetrating violence.

“These people are exploiting the poverty and vulnerability of the youth to engage in violence and politically engineered political activities. Some organisations are hiding behind defending human rights when they are actually engaging in violence, criminal activities and blatantly violating everybody’s human rights,” he said.

Mutharika added that political and civil society leaders are teaching the youth of this country to be a violent society.

“As a country we have already witnessed our radicalised youths vandalising their own education infrastructure and committing serious crimes over petty issues. This is wrong, and a serious crime against an entire generation of the youths whom we must teach to resolve their disputes by using dialogue and the rule of law,” said Mutharika.

Following the May 21 elections, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has been organizing protests aiming at forcing Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign.

On some days, the protests turned violent with police stations being torched, building and vehicle being stoned and people suffering injuries.

Violent acts such as clashes between communities have also been recorded in the country.

In the statement, Mutharika condemned the acts of violence saying the perpetrators violate other people’s rights

“When we burn police units, we are violating the people’s right to security. When we kill a police man and proceed to create propaganda that demonises the police instead of regretting and condemning the murder, we are creating a lawless society.

“When we go around stoning schools and mobilising students to be violent, we are violating the youth’s right to education. When we cause violence on the streets so that innocent vendors must not do business, we are violating the people’s right to do business and the right to feed their families,” he said.

This year, the International Human Rights Day is being commemorated under the global theme: “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.