Govt still planning to remove kids from streets


The Malawi Government through the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, says it still pondering on how to lawfully get kids who beg in the streets removed.

The development comes as recently the minister responsible, Patricia Kaliati, gave parents and guardians whose children are in various streets of the country begging, a two-week ultimatum to remove their children from the streets.

Kaliati, while addressing journalists at Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, said her ministry will after the given period engage security agencies to remove all these kids in streets especially in the cities and arresting their parents.

However, two weeks down the line, the ministry has neither removed a single kid from the streets nor arrested any parent as per the minister’s order.

In an interview with Malawi24, Alfred Simwaka who is the ministry’s public relations officer, said they are still working on other crucial factors that will make the exercise legally successful.

Simwaka said government’s plan is to find a place where the kids would be kept after being removed from the streets but the ministry is being challenged by the covid-19 preventive measure which restricts crowding.

“It’s not just a matter of removing them from the streets, we want to put them somewhere where they could be cared for but with the issue of covid-19 pandemic, we think we can’t do this now. We are still thinking of what could be the best solution.

“We seem to be taking more time on this issue because we are also in dialogue with other concerned stakeholders but let me assure the public that everything regarding the matter is going on smoothly and soon these kids will not be seen in the streets,” said Simwaka.

The publicist further told this publication that for now, the ministry is reaching out to some of these kids so that they can voluntarily leave the streets for their homes.

The ministry has also insisted on the need for the general public to stop giving these street kids money or anything claiming the handouts are what keeps them residing in the streets.

Earlier this month, two street kids were nabbed for terrorizing motorists at Lilongwe Bridge whereas in August this year Blantyre police arrested over eight street kids aged between 12 and 28 for the murder of Edson Nasiyaya in Limbe Township.