The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has hit back at President Peter Mutharika after the Malawi leader labelled the coalition a terrorist group.
HRDC Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, says Mutharika should have directed his remarks at Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth because they are the ones who attack people in the country.
“It is them (DPP cadets) who have waged all sorts of terror on Malawians including corruption and impunity,” Trapence told a local newspaper.
He also condemned the president’s terrorism message saying the remarks can lead to violence.
“He is fermenting violence. Perhaps this is why the citizens openly express their dislike for the president because he visibly lacks leadership qualities. He doesn’t build. He always destroys,” said.
According to the HRDC vice chairperson, the grouping represents Malawians and will not be intimidated by the president’s attacks.
In 2019, the HRDC held post-election demonstrations demanding Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah to resign accusing her of mismanaging the May 21 presidential elections.
The protests turned violent on several occasions with protesters looting shops, burning vehicles and building, attacking police officers and injuring other people.
In his New Year’s address, Mutharika said the grouping incited violence, spread intimidation and victimized innocent people.
He accused the HRDC of creating misery and suffering in order to create anger and incite people against government.
Mutharika then appealed to all political leaders to reject violence saying the country will not get anything out of violence.