Human rights activist Emmie Chanika dies


Human rights activist Emmie Chanika has died this morning at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.

Chanika who founded the Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC) has died aged 66 after a battle with stroke.

Tonny Kachikondo, a family member, has said the body of Chanika will be taken to Blantyre where vigil is taking place.

On Facebook, activists have paid tributes to Chanika, a trained nurse who began activism in 1992.

“The loss of a human rights icon, my Mum Emmie Chanika is a blow to the human rights fraternity! What a sad day,” said Malawi Human Rights Commission executive director Habiba Osman.

“You never talk of Malawi human rights activism without the Civil Liberties Committee (CILIC) coming to mind. Emmie Chanika was the epicentre of that firebrand civil society organisation. Sad to hear she is gone. May her soul rest in peace,” said Journalist Kondwani Kamiyala.

Another activist, Bright Kampaundi wrote: “Rest well Madam Emmie Chanika. You fought a good fight and left indelible marks in Human Rights and Governance Sector.”

Activist and social commentator Onjezani Kenani said: “Sad to hear that human rights activist, Mrs. Emmie Chanika, has passed on. Mrs Chanika fought one of the fiercest battles ever fought by activists on our soil – the prevention of Bakili Muluzi’s unconstitutional third term. They tried to silence her with violence but she stood her ground. Her Civil Liberties Committee did a lot to help marginalized voices. Sleep well, Madam Chanika. You played your part.”

Follow us on Twitter: