The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), guided by the Social teaching of the Church, has expressed dismay over lack of respect for the law, public insecurity especially for vulnerable groups and the neglect of long standing and entrenched social injustices in the country.
In a statement issued on the 24th of October, 2020, CCJP has observed that there is indifference towards safeguarding of the sanctity of life, effective protection of the vulnerable groups and observance of the value of the common good despite renewal of State duty towards citizens.
“Continued cases of witchcraft based violence, defilement of young girls, the soaring numbers of teen pregnancies and child marriages and increased incidents of theft demonstrate systemic defects in the protection systems to safeguard the rights of the elderly and youths are clear manifestation that duty bearers are not doing enough to protect these vulnerable groups” reads part of the statement
The Catholic justice and peace arm has therefore asked the government to execute actions beyond political rhetoric to combat the vices.
The statement has cited a number of recent barbaric acts in some districts of the country namely exhumation of a dead body of a person with albinism in Ntcheu, the horrendous raping of a minor in Chikwawa and the merciless killing of an elderly woman in Dedza based on witchcraft allegations as illustrations in the frailties in protecting vulnerable people
Inequalities and social injustices such as challenges to access lands by the poor; politicization of public loans and other social protection programs which can lead to mob violence, increased lawlessness, entrenched socio-economic inequalities and deepen mistrust of citizens on their leaders have also been condemned. On corruption, the Commission has asked the current government to refrain from selective justice and suspend those perceived to have been corrupt and are aligned to the present political regime for effective investigations.
CCJP has among other things, recommended that the Malawi Police Service should strengthen community protection systems to safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups, there should be speedy handling of cases involving killings, attacks and abductions of persons with albinism as there are serious delays to dispose the cases, public institutions and non-State actors should scale up efforts to raise awareness on the rights of vulnerable groups at the community level and that government should holistically address the land issue problem through participatory law, policy and institutional reforms.