Governance and human rights advocate Undule Mwakasungula has criticised the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) for implying that Malawi is drifting into a failed state.
But HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence yesterday said Undule should not divert people’s attention to the critical issues that HRDC raised.
Undule: Focus on specific issues at hand
In his statement made available to The Nation yesterday, Undule said by referring to Malawi as moving towards a failed state has implications both domestically and internationally.
Undule, a fierce critic of the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration, said it is not important to heap blame on the government for the numerous challenges emanating from a volatile economic situation.
He stressed that it would be important for the citizenry to join hands in supporting the government in its quest to change the country’s misfortunes.
Said Undule: “While the challenges we face are indeed serious and require urgent attention, it may be constructive to view them as symptoms of underlying problems that need to be addressed, rather than labelling the country as drifting towards a failed state.
“Although the challenges are severe, it is important to focus on the specific issues at hand and the potential for reform and recovery.”
In the two-page statement, Undule said it would be important to also recognise that the Tonse Alliance administration is putting effort towards making Malawians livelihoods better through various policy directions.
As such, Undule said supporting the government for the betterment of the country would be important instead of discrediting its efforts and referring to the country as a failed state.
He further said it would also be important for organisations to work on sensitisation of the masses to highlight the causes of the challenges currently being experienced.
But in a written response yesterday, Trapence said Undule should not divert people’s attention on issues raised during their Sunday media briefing.
He said: “Infact, HRDC is helping the government by highlighting the reality of economic challenges that Malawians are facing.
“Those public officers in office have a Constitutional mandate to address this economic crisis.”
At their Sunday media briefing in Lilongwe, the HRDC challenged President Lazarus Chakwera to rise up to the occasion and solve the various challenges Malawians are facing.
HRDC officials that spoke at the media briefing pointed out that Malawians’ livelihoods have deteriorated and that the President must show decisive leadership.
Presidential press secretary Anthony Kasunda was on Sunday not available for comment when The Nation sought his reaction on the matter.
Malawians are facing a myriad of challenges including a continuous high cost of living and a shrinking income.
This has led social and economic commentators to fear that the situation may push Malawians into serious poverty.