The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has asked government to reconsider its decision to arrest beggars in the country.
CHRR communications officer Fletcher Simwaka said that government should have assessed the families of the street beggars and provided them with support as most street beggars are on the streets because of high levels of poverty in the country.
He added that his organisation is against government’s decision as the directive has come at a time when there is hunger in the country. He then called on government to think about people’s living standards.
However, government insists that it will still arrest beggars and everyone who give money to them.
Principal secretary in the ministry of gender, disability, children and social welfare Mary Shawa said the law states that there should be no beggars on the streets Malawi.
“By arresting street beggars we are following what the law is saying and people must not give money to beggars, if found they will be arrested,” said Shawa.
She added that some of the beggars were trained and given money to sustain themselves but they sold the things and went back to the streets.
According to Shawa, statistics show that out of 4400 street beggars on the streets, 4000 hail from good homes which means 400 are the ones who need support.