Minister Zikhale Ng’oma asked to stop victimizing refugees


The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has urged President Lazarus Chakwera to direct Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale-Ngoma to stop victimizing fellow Africans under the guise of implementing laws and regulations governing refugees and asylum seekers.

CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa made the statement on Friday at a press briefing in Lilongwe.

Namiwa said it is strange that while countries such as Kenya are welcoming fellow Africans by removing visa restrictions, the Malawi Government is doing the opposite by arbitrarily revoking citizenships for industrious fellow Africans who, in their own small way, are making positive contributions towards healing the
country’s ailing economy.

He added that a case in point is what Malawians witnessed recently when government hunted down like rats refugees and asylum seekers who included children, pregnant women, and even the sick, shoving them into trucks to Maula Prison in Lilongwe without food and proper beddings amid harsh weather conditions.

“This, coupled with allegations that the same government is revoking the refugees
and asylum seekers’ citizenship without any good reason, is very disturbing.

“Government’s current stance and conduct on these people is not only suspicious but also leaves one fearing that maybe the Malawi Government has a hidden agenda against Rwandans and Burundians,” he explained.

He then said that CDEDI wishes to implore President Chakwera to listen to the humble voice of reason and intervene by rescinding his government’s decision to revoke the citizenship of the 396 refugees and asylum seekers whose papers were processed.

Namiwa went on to say that the organization is informing Malawians that it has written the Minister of Homeland Security demanding the list of the affected naturalised citizens and proof of prior communication indicating reasons for the revocation of their status.

“Additionally, CDEDI is reminding government that Malawians have a right to
know how much has been spent on the relocation exercise of the refugees and
asylum seekers.

“Besides, Malawians would also like to know in whose interest is government
harassing these fellow Africans, especially those from Burundi and Rwanda?

“It is equally worth pointing out that as government is busy bundling refugees
and asylum seekers and dumping them in prisons in transit to the congested Dzakela Refugee Camp, it committed itself to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework and also pledged at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 to incorporate refugee matters into its national development agenda, reform the legal and policy framework, cover registration and documentation of refugees, enhance refugee status determination and support the self-reliance of refugees through increased livelihood activities,” he said.

He also said that what is happening on the ground is a classic example of the Malawi Government’s policy inconsistency that has culminated into outright appetite for torturing fellow Africans helplessly yearning for a safe and better living.

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