HRCC wants Chakwera to resume foreign trips trips


HRCC chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba

Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) has called on President Lazarus Chakwera to reconsider the cancellation of foreign trips arguing that his trips benefit the country.

The grouping also says that it is against calls for the dismissal of Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba.

This has been contained in a press statement signed by HRCC chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba and released on Friday, 1 December, 2023.

On the suspension of all presidential international trips until March as part of cost-cutting measures following the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha, HRCC has advised Chakwera to reconsider the cancelled trips.

“It must be made clear that the president is a symbol of commitment and political will in any nation, stopping him from attending forums constituted by treaty bodies subjects the country to low gains as partners will have challenges supporting us due to lack of political will.

“As HRCC, we would like the president to appear before AU, UN or o other global forums to answer on behalf of Malawians how they are consolidating demands from the instruments we ratified. It is our hope that the measures will not be too rigid but will allow variances to allow the President and government officials to attend to critical important sessions globally,” reads another part of the statement.

The grouping further says that the extension of the travel ban to all Parastatals, if not effectively managed, stands to affect the operations of major essential entities who depend on imported materials to service Malawians, claiming while it is easy to order goods online, it makes economic sense to travel and inspect the goods before any commitments are made.

According to HRCC, new contracts and deals require face to face meetings to ensure that the country is not duped as there are fraudsters available online ready to cheat nations.

HRCC has also faulted the recent calls by Public Affairs Committee for President Lazarus Chakwera to fire SPC Colleen Zamba over what they described as incompetence in the execution of her duties.

Mkwezalamba said it is failing to understand why Zamba should suffer the consequences of government system and further cautioned President  Chakwera against some recommendations made by the religious grouping.

“We are not convinced why individuals must suffer consequences of a government system in which they serve. We are mindful of the turn of events in the State vs. Mr. Kapondamgaga where majority spoke in support to have him completely dismissed simply because he is in the office of the President.

“As the facts unfolded and ACB made decisions, majority suspected foul play yet these are simply matters of justice. Unless people have clear evidence and facts supporting the justification for these calls, we do not think the President should take the route of firing people based on hearsay when our justice system is clear that anyone suspected of being corrupt, incompetent or bias must be reported to ACB whose investigation may lead to a conviction.

“If she is indeed blocking some dubious deals or plans in the public services, we would state that Malawi needs such personalities who should strive at all times to ensure that Malawians are not ripped off their hard-earned money simply because some individuals have ganged up to defraud or cause plunder where they do not deserve, let people come with facts,” reads part of HRCC statement.

Mkwezalamba added that HRCC is against calls that seek to simply criticize for the sake of criticizing or those that will bring the nation back against the fight of corruption in public entities among others.

Meanwhile, HRCC has committed to continue supporting the growth agenda of this country and has appealed to the Leadership and NGO community to likewise work in support of attaining the desired goals.