Local businesses challenged to fill gap left by relocated refugees

Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has called upon local businesses to fill the gap that has been created due to the relocation  of refugees and asylum seekers to Dzaleka refugee camp so that consumers should not be punished.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said yesterday that following the Ministry of Homeland Security’s order for refugees to relocate, business has been on standstill in Lilongwe, Mangochi, Dowa and Blantyre.

He added the situation shows that businesses in the country are precisely dominated by foreign based business operators, most of whom have no legal permits for such business activities.

“Some of the refugees and asylum seekers came in with skills and expertise that have benefited the society and are rendering essential services in areas of health, education and social work,” he said.

He went on to say that the organisation is calling for review process of laws to ensure that some of the refugees and asylum seekers are integrated into the society, as they have proven to be critical to the social and economic development of our nation, despite their status.

Namiwa also worried that marriages are at the verge of disintegrating as such government directive has unearthed cases of intermarriages, where some refugees and asylum seekers have married the native women and vice versa.

He, however, accused government of selective application of justice as the law seems to be only targeting people from Rwanda and Burundi when those from Nigeria, Somalia, India, Pakistan, Lebanon and China are left scot-free.