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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Civil Society Condemns Selective Justice in Malawi

A coalition of 16 civil society organizations (CSOs) has issued a statement condemning the selective application of justice in Malawi.

The statement follows the outcome of a meeting held between the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament.

The CSOs express deep concern over the decision by the DPP to discontinue criminal proceedings against the Vice President on grounds of national security, while reviving the Paramount Holdings case.

“This decision raises serious questions about the impartiality and integrity of our oversight systems,” said Mos Mkandawire, Chairperson of the National Anti-Corruption Alliance (NACA)

He adds, “The selective revival of cases by the DPP undermines the principle of equal justice and creates a perception of an uneven application of justice.”

The CSOs warn that this selective approach risks creating a perception that some individuals are protected while others are prosecuted based on criteria other than the merits of the cases.

They call for urgent reform of the law governing the discontinuance of cases and for the Legal Affairs Committee to reaffirm its commitment to the interests of the Malawian people.

“The fight against corruption must be unwavering, and it must be pursued with integrity and impartiality,” said Mkandawire in a statement.

According to Mkandawire, “Only then can we hope to rebuild public trust and uphold the rule of law in Malawi.”

The CSOs also emphasize the need for transparency and accountability, stating: “The Legal Affairs Committee must take immediate steps to reaffirm its commitment to the interests of the Malawian people. It must act transparently and fairly, distancing itself from any actions that could be perceived as facilitating corruption.”

The following civil society organizations have endorsed the statement National Anti-Corruption Alliance (NACA), Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Youth and Society (YAS), National Advocacy Platform (NAP), Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (CSAT), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Centre for Civil Society Strengthening (CSS) and tbe Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP).

Others are Malawi Human Rights Resource Centre (MHRC), Nyjika Institute (NI), NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO GCN), Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Citizen Alliance (CA), Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN), Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and NGO Coalition on Child Rights (NGO CCR).

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