Rafiq Hajat

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Rafiq Hajat (b.14 Sep 1955) is a prominent Malawian civil rights activist.[1] He was born in Blantyre.[2] He is the director for the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) in Malawi.[2]

He received a B.A. in political science at Saint Xavier College in India in 1975.[2]


Vice president of the country's chamber of commerce and industry, chairman of DEMAT, the Development of Malawian Traders' Trust, and also founding director of the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI).[3] He has worked at the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and has been a Board member with Small Enterprise Development Organisation of Malawi and the Development of Malawi Traders Trust

Political career[edit]

He was a member of the executive in the United Democratic Front[3]


He is the founding director of the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI)[3] and is the founder of Transparency International - Malawi Chapter.[4] Hajat and Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) president Kamlepo Kalua formed a Forum for the Defence of Democracy a pressure group on governance concerns under the Mutharika administration.

Hajat was one of the main civil society organizers of the July 20th Ultimatum and July 20th nationwide economic protests.[5] This forced him to go into hiding for a few days, but later he continued to organize the subsequent protests.

On September 2, 2011, the offices of the IPI were burned whilst Hajat was traveling to Lilongwe.[6]