Blair’s role challenged

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s watchdog Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) is challenging Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera to come out in the open telling the nation for the reasons why the nation need former British Prime Minister (PM) Tony Blair in Malawi as an advisor.

The grouping observes that President Chakwera’s administration involvement with Blair send wrong signals on human rights records saying the later is working with Rwandan government which has a bad record of human rights.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told the news conference in the capital Lilongwe, September 29, 2021 that it is worrying to learn that Malawi State House failed to announce former British PM Blair’s arrival as high profile people in the Very Very Important Persons (VVIP) category hence the need for public information.

Namiwa says Blair is not a person Tonse administration should hire for governance as Malawians solely voted him into power not for neo-colonization’s subcontracting.

“This is not the first time the former British PM has visited Malawi unannounced. The absence of prior announcements of the Tony Blair visits, has now confirmed the reports that the Tonse administration intends to hire
him as chief advisor to President Chakwera, a move that was heavily criticized and protested against by the country’s citizens, describing it as neo-colonization.

Namiwa: We don’t Blair in Malawi

“Apart from owning the Tony Blair Institute, the former PM serves as an unpaid advisor to the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Malawians may wish to be reminded that the Rwandese Inspector General of Police, Dan Munyuza, was in Malawi recently, where he announced Rwanda’s offer to train our Malawian police for free, in undisclosed capacity building areas.It is for this reason that Blair’s visit to Malawi has raised a lot of suspicions, especially now that President Chakwera is the Chairperson for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It is also important to point out that Blair was around during the Dr. Joyce Banda regime but there is literally nothing that Malawians benefited, hence CDEDI’s caution to President Chakwera to tread carefully, since the SADC, the African region, and indeed the world, are watching”, he observes.

Namiwa added, “CDEDI does not think that the former British PM has anything to offer to Malawi. On the other hand, CDEDI believes that Blair’s closeness to the Republic of Rwanda, whose human rights record is not anywhere near a model, could offer anything positive to the Republic of Malawi in as far as tenets of good and genuine democracy are concerned.If it were that Blair is an advisor that we seek to hire, then Rwanda should have been a shining example in both infrastructural developments and human rights record.

“However, it is not a hidden secret that there are massive reports of human rights violations in Rwanda, bordering on excessive use of force by the law enforcement agencies; unlawful and arbitrary detentions; internet restrictions by the State; lack of freedom of expression; human rights activists and opposition political party leaders being silenced through arbitrary arrests and imprisonment based on trumped-up charges; etc.As they say, show me your friends and I will tell you who you are, the friendship that exists between Kagame and Blair is a cause for worry for us to see our leader joining the league”.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair arrived in Malawi on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 despite numerous calls from the general public for President Chakwera not hire him as his advisor.

Blair, who arrived on a private jet around 5am on Tuesday that is said to be on private visit.

However, acting Presidential Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda says after learning about Blair’s private visit, President Lazarus Chakwera invited Blair to State House for a courtesy call.

Blair visit comes barely eight ten months after Malawians across urged President Chakwera to cancel any business arrangement, paid or unpaid, that this administration has made with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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