Tributes yesterday started pouring in for former Cabinet minister and rights activist Reen Kachere who died in Lilongwe after succumbing to diabetes.
In an interview yesterday, Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary Habiba Osman described the late Kachere as a prolific women’s rights advocate.
She said Kachere pioneered so much in human rights, including fighting for women to be in decision-making positions.
Said Osman “She was also the first advocate to challenge some executive decisions that were undemocratic in the multi-party era.”
Further, Osman described the late Kachere as a human rights advocate, saying the country has lost a gem.
In a statement yesterday, Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) board chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba and board member Desmond Mhango said Kachere’s death is another blow to the civil society.
The statement described the late Kachere as a committed human rights advocate who immensely contributed to the formulation of numerous laws, including gender related legislation.
Reads part of the statement: “Today, the nation cannot talk about the adopted gender-related laws and policies without mentioning the name of Reen Kachere as a strong advocate who played a major role towards their information and realisation.”
The statement further said the late Kachere’s passion for human rights, zeal and commitment earned Cabinet positions in the administration of former president Bingu wa Mutharika where he served in numerous portfolios.
HRCC, according to the statement, will remember the late Kachere for being a jovial, down-to-earth and a committed activist who always dreamed of a better life for everyone.
Writing on his Facebook page, former law professor at Unima, formerly Chancellor College, Edge Kanyongolo, said the passing on of the late Kachere diminishes the number of fearless women who sacrificed much for the improvement of human rights protections and constitutional governance in Malawi.
The late Kachere served as Minister of Persons with Disabilities and later Minister of Gender, Women and Child Development in the Bingu administration between 2009 and 2011.
Besides, Kachere also served as member of Parliament for Neno West Constituency. Apart from active politics and activism, the late Kachere is also well known for setting up a home for the elderly at Chifunga in Neno District.
According to Kachere’s son, Edgar, the late Kachere succumbed to diabetes, but details were yet to be announced.
The late Kachere was born on April 24 1954.
Kachere’s death comes barely a day after another prominent rights activist, Emmie Chanika, was laid to rest at HHI Cemetery in Blantyre on Sunday.