January 20, 2017 by Staff Reporter
Malawi is steadily progressing well in human rights upholding despite various challenges being faced in the process.
President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika indicated this on Thursday when he met the Malawi Human Rights Commission at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
“As a nation we are making good progress in ensuring that all Malawians enjoy their human rights at all cost,” explained the president.
In reference, he mentioned the area of child rights as one which is getting enough emphasis and therefore progressing well as evidenced by international remarks.
Mutharika ointed out at legal instruments that government has put in place deliberately in order to allow Malawians enjoy their rights fully.
Access to Information (ATI) is one such law which had been brought before parliament during the current regime after being shelved for over 15 years,
“As government we understand the importance of having good laws that should serve the interest of the people hence the progress made,” Mutharika pointed out.
The Malawi leader indicated that government is prioritizing rights of people living with disabilities to ensure that they also enjoy their freedoms and participate in the economic activities just as everyone else.
On the matter, the president talked of plans that are there to improve the financing package of the Federation of Disability Associations in Malawi (FEDOMA) as one way of ensuring that the body is serving its clients efficiently.
“We are also expanding the Montfort Special Needs Teachers Training College on top of building one more while more Braille machines are being imported to edify the need,” the president disclosed.
Mutharika pointed out the initiation of a commission of inquiry on matters of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and intersex (LGBTI) or say homosexuality to gather people’s will on the matter as a positive move in ensuring that all manners of people are exercising their rights freely in the country.
Malawi has recently passed a law oh human trafficking in order to ensure that its people are well protected in the land they belong.
The President cited the deliberate action the government is taking in ensuring that prisoners have their rights respected mentioning the construction of a new prison in Mzimba and the expansion being done to Maula prison.
Mutharika called on Malawians to always remember pairing rights with responsibilities in order to avoid chaos in the country.
Minister of Justice, Samuel Tembenu concurred with the president on the matter saying government is investing a lot in the area of human rights to ensure remarkable success.
However, the Minister mentioned the issue of funding as the only set back in the implementation of various human rights legal tools as some stakeholders such as the police are not adequately funded to carry out their duties.
Tembenu mentioned the issue of funds as he was responding to the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) complaint on poor funding that is causing the commission to fall short in other areas.
The Commission’s Chairperson, Justin Dzonzi appreciated the support government renders to them apart from mentioning the poor financing part.
According to Dzonzi, the country currently enjoys right supportive legal framework as well as sufficient respect for human rights.
“The only area that we are falling short is that of social economic and cultural rights as this requires heavy investments,” he said.
This was the first meeting between the commission and the president since its appointment in July 2017.