HARARE – Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has arrived in the country on a two-day State visit.
He is accompanied by his wife, Monica, and other officials.
He was met at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare by President Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, several Cabinet Ministers, Service Chiefs, and other senior Government officials.
He received a 21-gun salute and inspected a guard of honour mounted by members of the Presidential Guard.
Renowned legal scholar Professor Edge Kanyongolo of the University of Malawi at Chancellor College has appealed to President Lazarus Chakwera against being mum on human rights abuses as he visits Zimbabwe this week.
Writing on his Facebook account, Kanyongolo was blunt saying:“During his planned visit to Zimbabwe, the President should not avoid raising the human rights situation in that country.”
He clarified that asking Chakwera to do so was not a personal question, but rather a requirement of the country’s foreign policy.
“This is not my personal ‘ask’, but something that is required by Malawi’s Foreign Policy, whose section 4.4.5 states as follows: ‘Malawi shall endeavor to assert its commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms by raising, as appropriate, human rights concerns in its multilateral and bilateral relations and exchanges.”
Under President Emmerson Mnangangwa, Zimbabweans continue to live in the shadows of human rights abuses.
Many commentators have agreed that Chakwera should urge Zimbabwe president to urgently address the country’s deteriorating human rights situation.
Under Mnangagwa’s presidency, the abduction and torture of critics of the government have escalated, largely without the arrest of those responsible. In the past year, unidentified assailants, suspected to be state security agents, have abducted and tortured more than 70 government critics.
Zimbabwe’s security forces have also increasingly committed arbitrary arrests, violent assaults, abductions, torture, and other abuses against the political opposition, dissidents, and activists.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has engaged the Israeli government for the possible deployment of security experts to Harare to train local forces on how to effectively contain civil disobedience.