By Synd Kalimbuka
Member of Parliament for Zomba Malosa Grace Kwelepeta has called on Malawians to stop victimizing the elderly on allegations that they practice witchcraft.
Kwelepeta made the remarks when she met 35 elderly people belonging to 4 Gogo groups of Mwanje, Matuta, Kaswanya and Kachere at Mwanje primary school in her constituency.
She expressed concerns that some villagers are still ill-treating and abusing elderly people on the basis of their ages.
“It is very bad to abuse such people instead of supporting them both physically and spiritually,” said Kwelepeta.
She then condemned communities who call such people witches saying becoming old it doesn’t mean one should be victimized.
The legislator assured elderly persons of her total support to improve their welfare. She urged them to report anyone calling them witches or victimising them on the basis of becoming old to authorities.
“Such people are not living in peace because they are afraid of being beaten or killed in suspicious of practicing witchcraft,” she said.
Director for Mwanje Gogo Group Isaac Buleya commended Kwelepeta for the support towards elderly people.
Buleya said reaching out to 35 elderly people is another milestone in promoting their welfare. He said many organisations in the district do not implement programmes which target such people.
“It is very worrisome to see that out of many organisations operating in the district, has programmes targeting aged ones,” he said.
On this particular day, Kwelepeta distributed zitenje, soap and cash to 35 elderly people.
Reports indicate that cases involving victimising elderly people are increasing in the country due to lack of programmes which target them.