Retired executive director of the Center for Human Right and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Undule Mwakasungula says the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) should take the responsibility of compensating former Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) and not government.
According to Mwakasungula the MCP government was the one that recruited MYP and should therefore bear the burden.
He further said the MYP committed atrocities under the command of the MCP and should therefore not demand compensation from the current government.
“These people (ex-MYPs) tortured Malawians, apart from that their job was questionable. Therefore, they should not be compensated if they insist, MCP should be responsible,” said Mwakasungula.
He said the country should emulate what the Namibian President Hage Geingob did especially when he openly told the former soldiers to demand payment from their former employers who recruited them “to oppress Namibian people”.
“We should emulate what Namibia did. MCP should pay the ex-MYPs and not this government. The ex-MYPs should not get our taxpayers money from government,” said Mwakasungula.
In his response, MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka while describing Mwakasungula’s remarks as childish said MYPs were part of government entity especially because they were governed by an Act of Parliament.
“It would be wrong to deny them what is duly theirs. Like anybody legally employed they are entitled to what they are demanding. Besides, there were things they did better despite their dark side. We, therefore, need to avoid stereotypes,” said Mkaka.
Other human rights activist such as Robert Mkwezalamba, Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) chairperson faulted Mwakasungula’s remarks.
The issue of ex-MYPs compensations started more than 20 years ago when they threatened to sue government for unlawful dismissal from the civil service during the 1994 Operation Bwenzani.
The ex-MYPs are on vigil in Lilongwe in a bid to pressure government into paying their ‘compensation.’
They are each demanding K500, 000 and if each of the 2, 765 gets their wish, government would have to cough about MWK 2 billion.