The Solicitor General who is also Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Janet Banda, has condemned the country’s civil society organisations (CSOs) for sending fabricated human rights reports to the international community for the sake of donor funding.
She said this in reaction to a letter by some local CSOs to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights alleging harassment, threats and attempts to block a civil society-led demonstration in January.
Addressing a working session of the national task force on convention of torture in Lilongwe, Banda said government was saddened by the trend by the civil society to conceal alleged human rights abuses by State organs, only for the reports to be sent to the international community.
Said Banda: “It is a very serious problem. We saw it in the newspapers last week when some NGOs appeared in Geneva before the UN commission and raised issues which they did not raise with government.
“I think we have now formed an opinion that the CSOs are merely after sustaining their own donor funding.”
But Chrispin Sibande, one of the activists who represented CSOs in Geneva, said while the SG has concerns over the process, the Universal Periodic Reporting process was generally consultative.
Earlier, Banda asked the task force to produce a report which is a frank assessment on the constitutional, legal, judicial and administrative measures undertaken by Malawi to address issues of torture.