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Malawi - ANCEFA Sends Solidarity Message

ANCEFA Board Chairperson, Jennifer Chiwela and Regional Coordinator, Gorgui Sow recently called upon the Government of Malawi to create conducive environment for civil society organizations and academics in the country.

Benedicto Kondowe (L): Unknown persons searched for him at his office during odd hours in Lilongwe The two leaders made the call in a solidarity statement on 23rd March 2011 addressed to Emily Banda the Board Chairperson of the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSCQBE).

The statement was issued following growing tensions between civil society and academics in the country.

Since the beginning of the year political leaders have been threatening civil society activists who stand up to express public around deteriorating standards of service delivery including failure to stabilize the education system.

In addition, academics have been fighting for academic freedom, after one of the lecturers from the University of Malawi was summoned and threatened by Inspector General of Police after remarks made in a political science class regarding revolutions going on in North African Countries, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

“We are concerned”, reads the statement, “with the government -engineered threats leaders from NGOs including CSCQBE continue to receive thereby restricting meaningful contributions”.

On one occasion during odd hours, unknown thugs mobbed the Secretariat of CSCQBE looking for Benedicto Kondowe, the coalition’s National Coordinator. Other civil society leaders were either arrested or received anonymous phone calls threatening their security.

The ANCEFA leaders add in the statement, “ANCEFA therefore categorically condemns the unprecedented crackdown on civil society activists and academics as unacceptable and retrogressive to socio-economic development in Malawi. The situation threatens the independent monitoring of service delivery and successful achievement of EFA and MDGs in Malawi”.

Benedicto Kondowe (L): Unknown persons searched for him at his office during odd hours in Lilongwe

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