Zikhale vows to continue with refugee relocation


Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma has vowed to continue with the relocation of refugees exercise and says the exercise will be extended to other districts across the country.

On Friday, Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale Ng’oma took over 6 hours meeting with United Nations officials at Capital Hill before another meeting with Small Scale Business Operators Association (SSBOA) which end around 10 PM.

“Government is committed to respect rule of law by protecting its citizens and people from other countries including refugees and asylum seekers,” said Zikhale.

He said the relocation exercise which started on Tuesday in Lilongwe will continue and extend to other districts despite some pressures his office is receiving from international and local organisations.

He added tay during the meeting with officials from United Nations, he was requested to suspend the exercise and instead carry out door to door head count on them while in their locations.

In this matter, the Minister challenged them to sign a Memorandum of Understanding so that whatever happens to the refugees due to the anger by Malawians the UN should be responsible.

He said some of the refugees are not real refugees or Asylum Seekers but came into the country for other reasons.

“Let me also tell you that government has realized that some of these people are economic migrants who came to do business and they do not pay tax,” he said.

Small Scale Business Operators Association (SSBOA) Secretary General Thenson Mulimbula commended Zikhale Ng’oma for his efforts to making sure the relocation is possible.

Mulimbula said the Minister has really shown a patriotic kind of leadership since they started engaging him in March this year.

He also promised to work with the ministry in identifying and locating refugees and asylum seekers who resist to go back to Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

He added that since 1994, previous Ministers had been singing song on the the need to relocate refugees and asylum seekers who have been operating businesses in the country.

“This is a kind of Ministers we are looking for to fix broken system in the country,” said some of them.

Meanwhile, Small Scale Business Operators Association has threatened to deal with landlords, chiefs and individuals who are keeping such people in their locations.

Over 600 refugees have been relocated to Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

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