By: Vincent Gunde
The Malawi Human Rights Commission( MHRC) says it has learnt with deep concern the death threats targeted at Mr. Gift Trapence, one of the Human Rights Defender ( HRDC) in Malawi.
The Commission says it must be noted that any threat to life or safety of any HRD is an attack on civil liberties and democracy the people of Malawi fought for in early 1990s.
The concern has been expressed in a press release dated 4th July, 2019 signed by the Commission’s Executive Secretary, David Nungu following confirmed reports of death threats targeting Gift Trapence through his mobile phone from a South African number.
In the death threats text message to Trapence which reads in part….. “am coming tonight I will shoot you down…..” it is being suspected that a DPP youth cadet has been identified to have threaten to shoot to death Human Rights Defender’s vice chairperson, Gift Trapence.
The MHRC describes these threats as an attack to the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi in which the Bill of Rights sits, hence the Commission wishes to condemn these threats in the strongest terms possible.
It says in view of the foregoing threats, the Commission is calling upon the police to act swiftly by investigating the matter and bring to book the source of these threats.
In the release, the Commission is also urging the police to protect the safety of all HRDCs in line with their police mandate sitting in section 153 of the Constitution of the Republic.
The Commission is appealing to members of the general public to religiously report to police or the Commission and/ or whistle blow any source of threat to any of the HRDs in Malawi.
Meanwhile, the Commission is calling upon the state to prioritise provisioning of protection to HRDs, noting that their work is in the interest of the nation.
The Commission says it must also be noted that there is a perfect positive correlation between Human Rights observance and meaningful development.
The HRDC led by Timothy Mtambo is holding a_ 2 days mission national wide protests to force Chairperson of Mec, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah sc to resign for failing to manage the May, 21 tripartite elections.