Advocacy organization lashes out at government

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Matchona Phiri

INUA Advocacy organization has lashed out at the government for what it calls the delayed release of a report about the forced opening of the confiscated containers and sales of goods belonging to refugee business operators.

The organization’s Advocacy and Liaison Officer Matchona Phiri said this in Lilongwe during a media briefing.

He lamented that a year on, the government is yet to furnish the public with information about claims that some confiscated containers contained dangerous weapons.

Phiri said by now, the government through its security agency, could have investigated enough to bring up evidence that would substantiate the claims of containment of dangerous weapons in the containers.

On forced relocations of refugees and asylum seekers to Dzaleka Refugees Camp, Phiri expressed worry over what he called an unattainable situation that has culminated into a human crisis.

Confiscation of the goods is the ultimate act after proper adjudication. Once confiscation takes place, the ownership as well as the possession goes out of the hands of the original owner and into the hands of the Government Authority.

In May 2023, Malawi forcefully evicted and relocated refugees who lived and did business outside the Dzaleka refugee camp, in the central part of Malawi.

The exercise, which started that week, followed the expiration of the April 15 deadline which was set by the government in February for about 8,000 refugees to voluntarily relocate to the camp. About 400 families were evicted from their homes and business premises in some areas of Lilongwe.

The government said those staying outside the camp were a threat to national security and also violated policies which prohibited refugees from staying or doing business outside the refugee camp.

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