Civil Society Organisations (CSO) under the State of the Union (Sotu) Malawi National Advocacy Platform (Nap) have petitioned government and African Union (AU) over poor implementation of AU charters and protocols.
The petition, seen by Business Review, follows the launch of “My African Union” campaign last week by CSOs at Liwonde in Balaka.
The continental campaign seeks to facilitate effective engagement between citizens and leaders to push for accelerated efforts in implementing AU charters and protocols in member States.
The petition was presented to Malawi government and the AU ahead of the 24th AU Summit in Addis Ababa this month.
Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa, whose network co-hosts Sotu Malawi project alongside Eye for Development (EFD), said yesterday CSOs are concerned that the majority of ordinary citizens remain buried in extreme poverty and vulnerability compared to a few rich and privileged elites in the society.
He said citizens have remained less informed and empowered to effectively participate in the affairs of the nation and the AU, resulting in marginalisation and exploitation.
“The gap between the poor and rich or the powerful has remained too wide to justify and is a sign of exploitative and unfair policies that favour the elites at the expense of the poor,” he said.
Kubalasa said there is need to depoliticise national projects, which he said if well implemented can benefit a larger community.
“There are roads construction projects that were just promised or have started or have just stalled without even duty bearers updating the communities on the progress. These are Chingale-Lirangwe Road, Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road, Balaka-Chilipa Road and Liwonde-Ntaja Road,” he said.
On environmental delegation, he said other companies are disposing of their refuse into the Shire River, which a health hazard.
The Sotu project targets 14 AU standards that border on agriculture, and management of natural resources, among others.