A group of concerned Malawians has asked the Malawi Government to completely suspend the relocation of refugees and asylum seekers claiming the Malawi economy is run properly by foreign nationals.
This comes barely days after government removed one of the two injunctions which were obtained by some refugees against relocation exercise which was to commerce on 28 April, 2021.
Following the removal of the first injunction, government is slated to take back to Dzaleka refugee camp all refugees and asylum seekers who are residing outside the camp.
However, at a joint press briefing with Economic Empowerment Action Group in Blantyre, chairperson for the concerned citizens Mundango Nyirenda said it sad that government wants to proceed with its decision to relocate these refugees.
Nyirenda said it is important to point out right at the very beginning that refugees and asylum seekers are human beings with rights and dignity and in addition they all came here for their safety.
He said the harsh reality on the ground has been the unfortunate development that the better chunk of the country’s economy is controlled by foreign nationals and added that decision will as well affect other Malawian nationals.
“We the Concerned Citizens would like to point out that these people are our brothers and sisters came to Malawi in search for safety and security for their dear lives. It is very disheartening to note that most of these people are already integrated into the society having stayed in the country for over 20 years now.
“This means the legitimate directive from the Hon. Chimwendo Banda puts to risk hundreds of thousands of jobs provided by the businesses these people established in the past 20 years,” said Nyirenda.
These citizens suggest that government should make sure that there is enough space at Dzaleka camp, saying taking people to a camp that was meant to accommodate 14,000 refugees but now accommodates 50,000 is archaic and inhumane.
The concerned group further said it is sad that government is only targeting Burundians, Congolese and Somalians forgetting Pakistanis, Nigerians, Somalians, Indians, Lebanon and Chinese nationals who seem to be protected.
The group has since asked government to look into the Refugee Act and ensure that it is reviewed taking into consideration that this is the 21st Century hence it is not on to reduce these people to modern slavery.