Malawi: Chakwera Mourns Human Rights Activist Rafiq Hajat

President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has joined Malawians in mourning renowned human rights activist Rafiq Hajat.

Hajat died of heart attack in Blantyre this morning.

State House Director of Communication, Sean Tsanzo Kampondeni, told journalists during a bi-weekly press briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe that Chakwera is saddened by the passing of the fearless activist.

“The President has learnt with sadness about his death. He has instructed me to convey his condolences to his family and the human rights fraternity here in the country, which has lost a great giant. And so, this morning, we begin our briefing with a moment of silence over the passing of this great hero,” said Kampondeni.

Hajat was born on 14 September 1955 in Blantyre and was a prominent Malawian civil rights activist.

He is the founder and director for the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI), which is one of the civil rights organizations that fought for democracy early 1990s.

He was also the chairman of the Nyasa Junior Academy, a private school based in Blantyre.

During his lifetime, Hajat used to describe himself as “political activist and grassroots person”.

He once served as an executive member of the United Democratic Front (UDF), vice president of the country’s chamber of commerce and industry, chairman of Development of Malawian Traders’ Trust (DEMAT).

He received a B.A. in political science at Saint Xavier College in India in 1975.

Hajat is survived by a wife, children and grandchildren.

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