The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) announces the postponement until further notice of the demonstrations that were scheduled for 27th March, 2019. After deep reflections on our strategies, prevailing state of disaster in Malawi and thorough consultations with relevant stakeholders, we have decided that it is only humane and prudent of us to momentarily shelf our plans to exercise our right to demonstrate and alternately step up the implementation of our other equally effective accountability strategies.
While demonstrations still remain our all-time accountability mechanism, we thought it wise and duty bound to grief with our brothers and sisters who have been affected by these floods. Malawi is a nation in mourning. Floods have compromised the right to life and property. Floods in the southern region have heavily compromised our demonstration preparations. People that were geared to participate in these demonstrations have either lost their lives or their livelihood. It is only humane for us as HRDC to join the affected communities in mourning the lives lost and intensify relief efforts to mitigate the impact the floods.We take this opportunity to appeal to the international community to continue supporting Malawi in this time of need.
While we count the devastating impact of flood and join in the relief efforts, our other hand is still on our core mandate-defending human rights. We have meanwhile intensified our calls for accountability through the courts and to that effect, have already instructed our lawyers to move the courts on a number of cases bordering on human rights abuses, corruption, abuse of power/office to mention but a few.Similarly, we have stepped-up our community engagement and mobilization strategies including holding citizen rallies to empower communities so that they can amplify their call for accountability from duty bearers.
We take this opportunity to remind all including the Malawi Police Service and regime thugs that no amount of terror will intimidate us into abandoning our call and promise to defender human rights. We are aware of all their mechanization to unleash terror on us, but we promise them we are not afraid.We will keep on monitoring the political landscape and will be announcing the new date for the nationwide demonstration in due course.
God Bless Malawi.
Timothy Mtambo Gift Trapence
HRDC National Chairperson HRDC National Vice Chairperson
Released on Saturday, 23rd March ,2019 in Lilongwe