The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has urged President Lazarus Chakwera to ensure that victims of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) atrocities are compensated, saying victims cannot be healed by word of mouth only.
The organization’s Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa made the remarks in a statement following President Lazarus Chakwera’s apology to Malawians who suffered rights violations under MCP dictatorship.
Kaiyatsa commended the president for the apology saying it is s an acknowledgement that serious human rights violations were committed during that era, and that his government is accepting responsibility for what happened.
He, however, said the apology is not enough as reparation to victims hence the need for Chakwera to follow up his apology with compensation.
According to Kaiyatsa, financial compensation can help repair fully the harms suffered by victims and dispel questions that the president is simply trying to seek an easy way out of his party’s dark past.
“The wounds inflicted by the dictatorial MCP regime in Moto Village and elsewhere are so deep that they cannot be healed by word of mouth only. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the President to follow up his apology with financial compensation to victims. In the absence of compensation, Chakwera’s apology will ring hollow and will be deemed insincere and ineffective,” reads part of the statement.
Kaiyatsa also suggested that the president should have told Malawians what is being done to keep them safe from future rights abuses by the state or its agents.
Last week, Chakwera who is also leader of the MCP visited Moto Village in Mangochi were he apoloised to residents, about 50 years after the MCP agents razed down the village and executed residents for opposing the dictatorship at the time.