In what appears to be a reaction to political, economic and social rights activist Ken Msonda’s statement accusing people of Asian descent of posing as Malawians because they hold dual nationality, the Ministry of National Unity intervened, saying it amounted to promoting hate speech; racist violence and xenophobic remarks.
In a statement, Minister Timothy Mtambo said that while recognizing the right to peaceful protest in accordance with Chapter 4, Section 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, the ministry also appeals “to all against incitement to racially motivated violence and all forms of discrimination”.
“Let us remember that Malawi is governed by laws and everything we do must be done within the bounds of the law.”
Msonda released a voice note on social media explosively pleading with Malawians to stand firm with Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General Martha Chizuma, who has been sued by corruption suspect Ashok Kumar Streedharan for alleged defamation.
Msonda argued that these suspects, who are of Asian descent, should be treated as posing as Malawians since they hold dual nationality, but they claim the UK as their homeland with Malawi as just a base. to “steal” government money by illegal means.
Minister Mtambo is becoming aware that this has led to multiple attacks flooding social media platforms.
“The right to freedom of opinion and expression is sacred to all of us, in accordance with Articles 34 and 35 respectively,” Mtambo said. “However, we must simultaneously exercise these freedoms with great caution without having to infringe the human rights and freedoms of others, including the right to economic activity in article 29, and the right to citizenship as stipulated in Article 47 of the Constitution.
“Having a problem with one or two members of a group should not equate to profiling the entire race of Malawian-Asian descent. Citizens are encouraged to respect the rule of law and always allow due process regular to follow its course.
Mtambo therefore calls on the general public, protest organizers and all peace-loving Malawians “to refrain from using statements that could incite racial violence against fellow Asians and the Asian business community.” .
“In the same vein, Asian Malawians are advised to avoid provocative responses that could lead to unnecessary further tension – two wrongs don’t make a right.
“The ministry engages with all relevant stakeholders and takes all necessary steps to ensure that any kind of dispute and misunderstanding is always resolved amicably and in a timely manner.
“The mandate of the ministry is to foster and prioritize peace and dialogue,” says Mtambo while strongly condemning all forms of hate speech and discrimination in accordance with Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi .
“We call on the general public to always refrain from hate speech, provocative statements and any conduct that may cause disunity. As peace-loving Malawians, we are all obliged to coexist peacefully and express our opinions. , feelings and beliefs without necessarily infringing on the human rights of others.
“As a people, we all have the right to exist, to conduct legally accepted business and to live here in Malawi as stipulated in Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.
“Racial profiling, xenophobic statements, discrimination and incitement to violence all amount to breaking the law. Let us embrace peaceful co-existence and unity as a catalyst for national development and prosperity in line with the Malawi Development Vision 2063, because no country can develop without peace and unity.”
Ms Msonda assured the public that concerned Malawians have stepped up to protect Chizuma and his office and implored the judiciary not to entertain any suspected corrupt individual to seek judicial interventions.
Meanwhile, social rights activists Joshua Chisa Mbele and Levi Luwemba have called for legal protests at Ashok’s home on Wednesday March 12.
In a letter asking for endorsement signed by the spokesman for the grouping of Chisa Mbele and Luwemba – aiming to become citizens against impunity and corruption – asks the Lilongwe District Council to walk from Simama Hotel to the Ashok’s house in Area 9 via Lilongwe Town Hall and Maula.
“We have decided to meet this man so that he will know us and we will also know him, in person,” reads the letter from the Lilongwe District Commissioner, copied to the Lilongwe Police Officer in Charge.
“The protests are a direct result of Mr. Ashok Kumar Streedharan, a corruption suspect, suing People’s Chief Executive Martha Chizuma in his personal capacity, on matters arising from the very case in which Mr. Ashok is wanted for wanted.”
According to the statement, Citizens Against Impunity and Corruption is “a congregation of well-meaning, patriotic citizens who have mobilized to oppose impunity and the government’s unfathomable tolerance of corruption.”