By Chisomo Phiri
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to investigate alleged electrocution of 6-year-old Blessings Nickson at Namitete in Lilongwe last year.
In a letter to MHRC dated January 3, 2024, HRDC National Coordinator Kelvin Chirwa says the boy was allegedly electrocuted by an Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) power transmission wire.
Chirwa says the wire had touched a mango tree from which Nickson wanted to pluck a fruit on November 27,2023.
“Due to the burns suffered from the electrocution, Blessings had his right arm, very close to the shoulder and a toe on his right foot amputated at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). As we are writing you, Blessings is still wriggling in pain at KCH as a result of the electrocution incident.
“We are told that the family of Blessings received MK50, 000.00 from ESCOM to support care for the child whilst admitted at KCH. ESCOM assured the family that it would continue providing financial support throughout the boy’s admission at the hospital,” reads the letter in part.
As such, Chirwa says they want MHRC to establish facts surrounding the incident, any human rights violations, determine whether any party is liable for the permanent incapacitation of Nickson, and, if so, recommend appropriate actions or sanctions.
Meanwhile, ESCOM officials are yet to comment on some issues raised by HRDC including allegations that the corporation failed to take heed of calls to attend to the distribution wire despite repeated fears that it was destined to cause an accident.