The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) and indeed all peace-loving Malawians woke up to some very shocking news on Sunday morning, 18th October 2020 when social media platforms were awash with pictures depicting two ugly scenes in Lilongwe and Dedza.
In Lilongwe, irate Area 44 residents razed down property worth millions of Kwachas belonging to Kumbali Lodge, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Kamuzu Palace; while in Dedza, people from Fumbwa village T/ A Tambala took the law into their own hands and brutally stoned an old woman to death, accusing her of being a witch.
While condemning the two incidences in strongest terms, CDEDI is challenging President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to publicly denounce these regrettable incidences as soon as it is practical for him to do so.
CDEDI has noted with concern that of late, some Malawians have resorted to taking the law into their own hands by administering mob justice, hence the need for the Malawi leader to rise to the occasion and warn the perpetrators of such acts and indeed all the citizens of this country, that Malawi has existing laws that are in effect, and that such laws do not give room for mob justice.
President Chakwera should realize that the increase in cases of mob justice is a pointer and an indication of a hopeless and lawless society, a development that can easily scare away both existing and prospective investors as it smacks a breakdown in security. This is bad for a country like Malawi where its leadership promised to turn around the economic fortunes by among other things, creating the much touted 1 million jobs.
CDEDI is appealing to the authorities to move in with speed and address the sporadic conflicts, specifically on land ownership which are increasing on each passing day.
CDEDI is further reminding young people that growing old is not a crime as these elderly people we see today, were at some point young people like us, hence the need to immediately stop associating old age with witchcraft.
It is against this background that CDEDI reiterates its earlier stand that no matter how provocative the situation might prove to be, mob justice is not, and should never be a solution. Simply put, mob justice and violent means of resolving conflicts do not have space in a modern-day Malawi.
Meanwhile, CDEDI is appealing to the Civil Society, the religious and traditional leaders, and all other influential figures in our society to join hands with government, specifically the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity, in sensitizing communities to desist from this unbecoming growing tendency of mob justice.
CDEDI is a non-partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established in a quest to attain a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on peoples rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.