Malawians asked to desist from stoking hatred against refugees

Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has called on Malawians to desist from making pronouncements or displaying conduct that could incite hatred and anger towards refugees and asylum seekers.

CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa made the remarks today at a press briefing in Lilongwe.

Namiwa expressed concern over pronouncements that could cause refugees and asylum seekers to start living in fear.

Recently, a letter purportedly authored by CDEDI and addressed to the Homeland Security Minister, Hon. Richard Chimwendo Banda, called on the government to speed up the process of relocating refugees to Dzaleka Refugees Camp. The authors of the letter warned that they would occupy houses of the refugees.

But Namiwa distanced CDEDI from the letter, saying it is the work of some criminal minds.

“[The authors] have ulterior intentions of taking the law into their own hands to inflict harm on innocent people that are carrying out their businesses in some parts of the country,” said Namiwa.

He added that CDEDI has lodged an official complaint with the Malawi Police Service (MPS), at the Lilongwe Police station, in Area 3 and investigations have already commenced to flush out these criminals.

Namiwa then stated that CDEDI will continue to lobby the Malawi Government, through the National Assembly, to review the 1989 Refugees Act, which he said is very archaic.

According to Namiwa, CDEDI wants authorities to consider drafting laws to allow the integration of the refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, including the improvement of their welfare at the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa district.

“Thus far, CDEDI, delivered a petition to parliament on June 1, 2021, through the then Chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee, Hon. Yusuf Nthenda.

“Since then, our position has not changed, and shortly we will embark on massive sensitization and lobby campaigns, to ensure that the outdated Refugees Act, should be reviewed.

“It is also worth pointing out that the refugees and asylum seekers, came to Malawi in search of peace, which they could not find in their own native countries, and elsewhere,” said Namiwa.