Trapence and Sembereka
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The United Nations in Malawi has been blamed of meddling into local politics of the country and siding with the Peter Muntharika government.
This comes after UNAIDS Representative Therese Poirier (originally from Rwanda) compromised the neutrality of the UN Office and got arrested Reverend McDonald Sembereka and Gift Trapence just two days after the two led the nation into national wide demonstrations pushing for Malawi Electoral Commission Justice Jane Ansah’s resignation.
Apparently Poirier is very close to Mutharika and promised the President to have the two activists arrested by implicating them in a purported money scam at UN AIDs.
An insider at the UN office in Lilongwe wondered why the UN would allow to be used by Mutharika to achieve its sinister motives to silence human rights activists and yet the UN is supposed to show leadership in promoting rights of citizens.
“This is a second time the UN has been implicated; first being when the UN was accused to have engaged BDO an audit firm to assist in enhancing the credibility of the 2019 elections yet the firm’s work was very questionable and shady leading to various questions raised by many actors,” said the source.
According to the UN Charter and Staff Members Code of Conduct, the UN is expected to be apolitical, neutral and impartial.
“UN staff members cannot testify in local courts as they are covered by the Privileges and Immunities Act,” said the source.
In a twist of events, through a Note Verbale dated 10 July 2019, the UN Resident Coordinator has asked government of Malawi to release the two and activists and further that the money will be paid to UNAIDS.
“The NV presupposes the two are already labelled guilty by the UN against clear human rights principles of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
“This is a clear compromise by the UN of it’s mandate and statue. The UN may in this case be accused of being used by the Govt which is a clear violation of the UN principles,” explained the source.
Sembereka and Trapence have since applied for bail before Chief Resident Magustrate Chipawo in Lilongwe and await ruling due to be delivered this Friday 12 July 2019.