Commonwealth SG raise concerns on Malawi human rights record

By Rebecca Chimjeka

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said is worried with Malawi’s poor human rights status.
Speaking in the capital Lilongwe after completing his visit to the country, Sharma said this is the main important area for any Commonwealth member state and has to be pursued with equality on both social and political agendas.
“The main methodology for the country to strengthen its respect for human rights and rule of law is to remove impunity and protect those people whose rights are being violated. I have had talks with rights bodies on the same and it was very promising, they are also fighting for the same course which is very important,” he said.
On gay rights, Sharma said its not an obligation for all member state to legalize LGBT but that there should stop criminalization and discrimination of the people with minority rights.
“It’s not for us to dictate for the member states on what to do, its up to them to see how best they can handle the situation. All we must do is to see into it that these people are respected and protected,” said Sharma.
Commenting on his three-leg Africa visit, Sharma said: “Africa region, with a Commonwealth membership of 19 countries, is a key focus of our work in supporting strengthening democratic institutions, promoting good governance and sustainable development. I always value these meetings where I update leaders and listen to Commonwealth citizens on what it is we can do to serve them better.”

Sharma added: “The developments we are witnessing on the continent and globally, with citizens demanding more efficient service delivery in the fields of governance, politics and the economy are a clear indication that we can longer continue doing things in a ‘business as usual’ basis. This is a challenge to all of us—which we must face squarely and address.”
In his stay in the Sub-saharan nation, Sharma held talks with the Leader of Opposition in Parliament John Tembo, National Assembly speaker Chimunthu Banda, Youth Development Minister Vuwa Kaunda, Deputy Foreign Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa, Standard Bank officials and the Electoral Commission.

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