Rights group, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), says it shocked with Rwanda Police’s offer to train Malawi Police officers considering reports of human rights violations perpetrated by the police in Rwanda.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa said at a press briefing today.
According to reports, on Monday Rwandan Inspector General of Police Dan Munyoza who is visiting Malawi, reportedly told Malawi Police Inspector General George Kainja that Rwanda is ready to train police officers in Malawi.
CDEDI wondered where the offer is coming from since the Malawi Government has not publicly declared any area that requires capacity building in the police service and the Republic of Rwanda has also not indicated, which area in the MPS it wants to help in building capacity.
He added that given Rwanda’s human rights record, CDEDI does not think that the Republic of Rwanda is any nearer a model where countries that are striving to embrace genuine democracy such as Malawi, can tap skills, especially for an important institution like the police office which is key in fostering democratic principles.
Namiwa warned the Malawi Government to desist from receiving offers that may end up compromising the country’s human rights record and democracy, and our hard-won democracy.
“It is not a hidden secret that there are massive reports of human rights violations bordering on excessive use of force by law enforcing agencies; unlawful and arbitrary detentions; internet restrictions by the State; lack of freedom of expression; human rights activists and opposition political party leaders being silenced through arbitrary arrests and imprisonment based on trumped-up charges. Obviously, Rwandan police are taking centre-stage in this gloomy picture,” said Namiwa.
He then linked the proposed training to the recent Malawi Government directive to relocate all refugees and asylum seekers to Dzaleka Refugees camp. He noted that the Republic of Rwanda is also busy hunting down some of its nationals who have sought political asylum in various countries, including Malawi.
Namiwa, however, commended Kainja for his assurance that all refugees and asylum seekers in the country are free to either return to their home countries, or continue living in Malawi for as long as they want.
According to Namiwa, a larger percentage of the refugees that fled and continue fleeing Rwanda are victims of political persecution and infringements of basic human rights.
He then stated that CDEDI is committed to continue lobbying for the integration of well-meaning refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi who are significantly contributing to the social and economic development of the country our country.