The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Youth and Society (YAS) have called on Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda to resign for encouraging mob justice against alleged perpetrators of defilement.
In a statement released on Tuesday signed by Executive Director for CHRR Michael Kaiyatsa and Executive Director for YAS
Charles Kajoloweka, the two organisations said they understand Banda’s frustration over increased cases of defilement in the country and the urgent need to deal with the problem, but encouraging mob justice is not and cannot be part of the solution.
The two organizations then asked President Lazarus Chakwera to take appropriate action and ensure that the Ministry of Homeland Security is led by someone who respects the rule of law.
They noted that mob justice has claimed the lives of so many innocent lives in this country with over 86 people being killed through mob justice over the last year and the country continues to lose so many lives to acts of mob justice, which is unacceptable.
“As someone who heads a law-enforcement agency, the honourable minister should be helping to put an end to mob justice, and not encouraging it. CHRR and YAS, therefore, call for the minister to resign over the remarks. By encouraging lawlessness, his place in cabinet has become untenable. We would like to take this opportunity to inform every Malawian that mob justice is unacceptable in our democratic dispensation,” reads part of the statement
The organisations also noted that under the Republican Constitution of Malawi, different offices are established to deal with crime or alleged criminality.
These offices include the Malawi Police Service, the Directorate of the Public Prosecutions, the Judiciary and the Malawi Prison Service hence when a person feels that a crime has been committed they are expected to report the matter to the Police who have a duty to investigate the matter and Judiciary has the duty to hear and determine the matter in a fair and impartial manner.
YAS and CHRR expressed concern that people taking part in mob justice play the role of accuser, prosecutor and the judge which they said is unacceptable considering that victims of mob justice never have a chance to defend themselves to explain their side of the story before they are punished.
The organizations, however, emphasized that they are not encouraging rape and defilement of women and girls.