CDEDI to tell SADC about human rights abuses, land crisis in Malawi


Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says it will present petitions to Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) secretariat about human rights abuses under President Lazarus Chakwera.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa disclosed this in Lilongwe on Friday at a press briefing.

Malawi is expected to host the SADC Summit in Lilongwe from Monday 9th August to Thursday, 19th August, 2021 when President Chakwera will assume the role of SADC chairperson.

Namiwa said his organisation will hold press briefings with like-minded civil society organisations, and individual activists and will present petitions and letters to the SADC secretariat.

He added that CDEDI wants to bring to the attention of the SADC delegates, issues that are affecting the region in general, and Malawi in particular.

“The main issues CDEDI is interested in, are the deteriorating human rights situation in Malawi, whose leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is the in-coming Chair of SADC, the land crisis in Malawi, specifically in Thyolo and Mulanje districts, and in other parts of the country, where vast pieces of this natural resource, were snatched away from the locals by some private investors, through dubious means; and the concerns raised by the Rwandan Refugees and asylum seekers, who are being hosted by Malawi, a country that has recently signed a pact with Rwanda,” he said.

He also mentioned the situation in Mozambique, saying SADC must ensure that foreign elements there, should not be allowed and natural resources, together with the citizens there must be protected, and the organization should address youth unemployment.

During the summit, CDEDI will be hoisting and displaying placards and banners in strategic places, that would make it possible for both the delegates and the media covering the summit, to capture the messages fully.

“It is important to point out that the activities will be held randomly, during the summit period,” said Namiwa.

Namiwa also revealed that CDEDI has notified the Lilongwe City Assembly (LCC) about the activities but the council is yet to to say if it has received the notice.