The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has asked President Dr Lazarus Chakwera to compensate to people of Moto village for the atrocities they faced during the one party dictatorial regime.
CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa has made the appeal in a statement following the president’s visit to the area last Friday.
While commending the president for apologizing to the people for his party’s past mistakes, Kaiyatsa however said atrocities faced by the people cannot be healed with a word of mouth hence must be followed with material reparation.
“However, while commending the President for the apology, CHRR is of the view that Chakwera should have gone further to tell Malawians what else will be done by his government to redress the harm that was caused as well as what is being done to keep them safe from future rights abuses by the state or its agents,” reads part of the statement.
Kaiyatsa said in the statement that an apology in itself is not enough as reparation to victims of serious violations hence Chakwera needs to follow up his apology with material forms of reparation such as compensation.
“Financial compensation, even if it is not capable of repairing fully the harms suffered, can help to show the seriousness of Chakwera’s apology and dispel suggestions that the President is simply trying to seek an easy way out of his party’s dark past, Kaiyatsa said.
He wondered as why the national peace commission bill is yet to be taken to parliament despite numerous promises by the Tonse Alliance administration.
Kaiyatsa has also reminded the President to honour his commitment to establish transitional justice mechanisms and address past mistakes in order to move the country forward.
“CHRR is surprised as to why the much-touted National Peace and Commission Bill has not been brought to Parliament despite numerous promises by the Chakwera administration. We urge the President to expedite this Bill so that it can be tabled in Parliament without much delay. Justice delayed is justice denied, he added.
Moto Village was razed down and many people were executed in 1971 for allegedly supporting Masauko Chipembere, a strong politician who openly opposed Kamuzu Banda’s dictatorship.