Nankhumwa calls for national dialogue on refugee relocation

Refugees in Malawi

Malawi’s leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa has called for a national dialogue where stakeholders will discuss how the relocation of refugees back to Dzaleka Refugee Camp can be resolved in a win-win situation.

This has been contained in Nankhumwa’s Monday press statement where he has suggested national dialogue as the last solution to the relocation exercise which has attracted public outcry.

Nankhumwa has indicated that his suggestion for a national dialogue on the relocation of refugees back to Dzaleka Refugee Camp, is because he feels the exercise has affected the nation in one way or the other.

He said there is a need for various stakeholders to meet for a two-day National Dialogue on the relocation exercise where a conclusion will be drawn which will see both sides smiling at the end.

The leader of opposition further said his proposition is that the National Dialogue should attempt to borrow a page from other countries and try to replicate best practices from organizations that have done it before.

“As Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, I firmly believe this refugees impasse is negatively impacting Malawi’s social and economic progress. It is for this reason that I propose that we convene an inclusive, broad and participatory two-day ‘National Dialogue’ to address this situation in such a way that we craft a win-win situation for Malawians as well as for our refugee friends.

“I strongly believe this is a situation that can be resolved through dialogue and listening to one another as planetary citizens with a purpose for humanity,” said Nankhumwa.

Nankhumwa continued to say participants to the proposed two-day National Dialogue should include: government officials, all stakeholders, including the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), the Judiciary, the donor and diplomatic community.

He further said politicians and Members of Parliament, religious and traditional leaders, the academia, the civil society, Malawi Law Society, and representatives of the refugee community in Malawi, will also be invited.

The leader of opposition indicated that these participants will be formally invited to engage in an honest and meaningful dialogue and help iron out differences and reach a win-win conclusion.

Government set April 15, 2023 as deadline for all refugees residing in Malawi to relocate back to Dzaleka Refugee Camp, and the Malawi Police Service, is currently rounding up and arresting refugees for non-compliance.

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