Political analysts defend HRDC’s top members diplomats appointment
As the debate on President Chakwera’s decision to appoint three Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) top members as diplomats, political analysts have defended the move arguing the President might have seen a potential in them.
While agreeing that politicians always try to weaken the opposition by giving critics such positions to achieve their agenda, one of the political analysts in the country Wonderful Mkhutche says Malawians should not lose hope as other defenders will emerge and help in the process.
According to Mkhutche, some individuals will fill the gap and continue defending human rights.
“That’s how politicians are everywhere in the World. They try to consume all the political positions that they have. Of course, the move will affect democratic checks and balance in the country knowing the position of HRDC. But then we shouldn’t worry that much because there will be others who will be coming to take the place,” Mkhutche said.
Mkhutche further said it is not the first time the country has seen human rights defenders leave their democratic checks and balance.
“Even before these came, we also had other human rights defenders who are nowhere to be seen now. So, it’s just a continuation, some are going to fill up the gap,” said Mkhutche.
Another political analyst Dr. Boniface Dulani has said people’s perception that the decision is a pay back by government is wrong because many people were involved in the demonstrations.
Dulani further said the appointments would not affect checks and balances of government operations arguing that its high time people should take responsibility, as it is not one person’s job to provide checks and balances to the government.
“The natural reaction would be this move will weaken civil society activism in the country, but we should also not lose fight of the fact that the role of nhuman rights defenders is a voluntary one. These people have families to feed. I see these as opportunity to fill the void.
“The human rights defenders’ team were not the only people that went on the streets. If you recall, there were different types of that were demonstrating at the time. So just to assume that this is a payback to these individuals really ignores the contributions that other people made,” said Dulani.
Three HRDC top officials Luke Tembo, Reverend Sembereka and Billy Mayaya were alongside other people appointed to serve as diplomats.
Meanwhile, HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence said the move will not affect their operations.
HRDC mobilized many mass demonstrations in 2019.