Beggars protest ban, demand ‘disability benefits’ from Malawi govt

Some people with disabilities on Monday staged a protest in the capital city Lilongwe when they went to Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare where they complained why government has banned street begging.

Minister Kaliati addressing beggars who stormed her ministry

Minister Kaliati addressing beggars who stormed her ministry

The complained that stopping members of the Asian business community from giving them alms has left them more destitute.

“Since the ban we have been sleeping most days with empty stomachs while you in power are busy feasting,” Mateyo Fabiano, leader of the group said.

The beggars asked government to consider start giving benefits package of K50, 000 monthly to disabled people and they will get out of the streets.

But Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati rejected the proposal, saying Malawi is not a welfare state.

Kaliati said street begging only degrades them as others insult the beggars.

The minister said government wants people who give alms to beggars to use “right protocol.”

Begging in Malawi is a criminal offence under Section 180 of the Penal Code. Thus anyone found wandering or placing themselves in a public place, seeking alms, causing, procuring or encouraging any child to do so, is termed an idle disorderly person and can be arrested and charged.

Government recently called for arrests of street beggars, street children, their parents or anyone who procures and encourages them to beg on the streets.

But Malawi Law Society (MLS) has said government’s directive is unsustainable, calling on government to address problems that compel beggars to be on the streets.

A survey conducted by the ministry and Chisomo Children’s Club in 2015, found that there are 4 400 street children on the country’s streets and only 400 of them are genuinely homeless.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

21 thoughts on “Beggars protest ban, demand ‘disability benefits’ from Malawi govt”

  1. Wangonde Mwakakuti says:

    Malawi should ask the late Idi Amini Dada (RIP) what strategy did he use to wipe out the beggers in the cities and towns try it!!!! The other better solution is to ferry them into our newly community colleges through out the country for skills training. After that then they be given starter pack or be employed. Musawanyengerere!!!!!!!! Osamawa mvera chisoni.

  2. Mbereka says:

    While I do not condemn begging in its totality; I feel it is absurd and obscene for beggars to demand a K50, 000.00 allowance for being beggars. Many of our employees in the country do not get that much. Therefore for a beggar to be earn a cool K50,000.00 for being a beggar would be unjust to those who eat their sweat. Come on beggars, be realistic with your requests if you want government to assist you.

  3. Banda says:

    All Western countries provide welfare to disabled citizens that are unable to work at no fault of there own,

    No one chooses to be disabled,

    Without assistance from family, well wishers or government to these less fortunate will only increase level of theft and petty crimes.

    Jail them after a crime they receive free room and board, food. Would it not be cheaper to provide them with an allowance to avoid these other costs usually higher than the allowance.

    It is the responsibility of the government and the citizens of the country to assist those less fortunate at no fault of theirs,

    I will continue to support financially or with food items to those truly disabled and so should you as a god loving nation

  4. crazy says:

    Very senseless law. The basis on which begging is banned is ridiculous. And again, it shows who really helps the poor malawian, its the foreigner, amwenye. I believe if they were to leave the country, our country would collapse!
    Kaliati, remember your forefathers were also beggars. So is the government who beg for aid from azungu. Please be broad minded and not a foolish selfish chitsiru in make up.

  5. ZANGALEWA CHARLES says:

    DEAR MANAGEMENT
    BEGGING
    BEGGING PROMOTES LAZINESS
    AMONG GENERATION AND GENERATIONS

    SEND ALL BEGGARS TO MPEMBA BOYS AND GIRLS
    HOMES

    MYP TRAINING BASES
    WHERE THEY CAN BE TRAINED
    IN VARIOUS SKILLS

    THESE WELL WISHERS WILL
    MEET THEM THERE

    THEY ARE OUR BROTHERS AND
    SISTERS YES BUT LETS HELP
    THEM IN A PROPER WAY ..

    AKUSWANANSO KOBASI NGATI
    MAKOSHWE !!

  6. johhn says:

    wedont need to encourage the spirit of begging.kaya wina afune kaya asafune some begaars in our cities are a nuisance.

  7. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    SEASON 1, episode 2 . . .

    “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” – George Elliot
    . . . Malawi is too poor a country to pretend to be rich hence have no beggar in the street when truths are allover for the whole world to see.

    . . . Truth no. 1 . . .
    Malawi is a land of very limited opportunities. And for one to make it in life either have to struggle or be born in an able-family. Although everyone may be willing, not everyone has the oportunity to struggle or be born such.
    . . . Truth no. 2 . . .
    The Malawi govt. just wants to behave like a rich country where all its people are well-fed and none, a beggar. But is this true?
    . . . Are we not being hypocritical (as others have already pointed out) when APM goes around the globe begging, yet he doesnt want his people to beg from each other? Which is more embarrassing – for the whole president to go out begging or his people to beg from each other? Is it wise to pretend to be what you are not?
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    . . . Truth no. 3 . . .
    The beggars do not poke their fingers into anyone’s pockets.
    . . .All they do is ask, “Ndithandizeni bwana” and if you dont have or want to help, they dont hold you a prisoner. Thus, its unfair for anyone to stop anyone from giving to these beggars.
    . . . I for one, dont believe in today’s tithing or zakaat coz I know that that money does not go to God but pastors and sheikhs and for church or mosque operations. As such, we feel closer to God when we give directly to the beggars than otherwise.
    . . . Some may argue that we may wish to channel our donations to orphanages but who doesn’t know that people have orphanages to enrich themselves? And can one give k50 or K100 to an orphanage? Opemphatu amalandira zimenezi!

    Asiyeni opempha or designate a place for them!
    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    . . .

  8. ineyo says:

    GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLACE BEGGING BOWLS ON ALL STRATEGIC PLACES FOR THOSE WITH MONEYS TO BE DONATING THERE. YOU CAN HAVE PEOPLE BEGGING ALL OVER. SOME OF THEM BECOME THIEVES AT NIGHT TERRORISING PEOPLE.

    let us control these people.

  9. ndebvuzamwai says:

    Thank you very much Madam Kaliati and go further to demonize Asian community who encourage begging. They use these begers as their watch men and pay them chabambo as payment.

  10. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
    . . . SEASON 1, epipose 1. . .

    “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them; at least do not hurt them.” – The Dalai Lama

    . . . Kuyannkhula kokuti Malawi is not a welfare state is a sharp thorn placed deep into these poor folks asses, and I can assure you; the pain is no laughing matter.

    . . . You seeeee . . . it is better to see no beggar in the streets because the economy is doing well and everybody is doing something or has someone to rely on; than see no beggar coz they have all been arrested for begging when the economy is going south.
    . . . Even in the U.S. and the U.K, there are minimum benefits for the ultra-poor, yet these are not welfare states. Nde inu a Kaliati mukuti bwanji? Why not just speak truth – Malawi is too poor a country to manage!
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    . . . Good people, are you sure you have never had no money and felt like kukangongola? “Aise zandivuta” yet you have a stable job or are running a successful business? What more with someone who lost a future on the wings of a dark past?
    . . . If you are able now, because your parents provided; can we be orotund and assume that all who didnt make it i life, lost their youthful days in the idleness of a rich man’s son?
    . . . And are we sure we can be here and pretend that everyone who begs is able and can find something to do at anytime and anywhere in Malawi? Malawi?

    Simple truths need be told . . .
    . . . Truth no 1 . . . Truth no 2 . . . no 3 . . . no. 4 . . .
    SEASON 1, episode 2, ABOVE
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

  11. Nyamakumutu says:

    Are you sure you are saying begging is criminal. Then the first person to be criminalised is the government and its leadership first before anyone else. You go about begging and not you stop the real poor people from doing what you are doing. We are all beggars only that some of you are smart Biggers but truthfully you have no moral right to condemn it. You say government is not a welfare institution then what do you stand for. Why are you still clinging to power. Why can’t you resign and allow others to run the government You mean you can put them on a cash transfer scheme. And if you don’t have one you have to create it. Cut the expenses on stupid traveling you can feed them for a year just with one presidential trip. Use your heart not just your mouth madam Kaliyati. This is a shame that for the first time in the history of Malawi the disabled people can even take it to the street.

  12. vincent namakhwa says:

    ok thats fine u can stop them,koma muwapezere chochita and muletsenso anjinga za kabaza mtauni amatichititsa manyazi

  13. Kanonono Siyalimba says:

    @ Chambe. I second your argument. In fact, if you go through the GDPs of various countries, you will realise that Malawi is not the poorest country in the world since there are several countries that have lower GDPs than that of Malawi. However, if the same GDP is divided by the population to arrive at the GDP per capita, Malawi becomes the poorest in the world. Malawians are good at producing children and in my view, this is what the government must seriously work on. It is a shame to live in a society that believes that richness is measured by the number of kids that one has. If we have parents, who do not know what to do with their kids, then understand we are creating serious problems in the future. These are the people who may end up in banditry and into other unforeseen undertakings.

  14. Ze Roberto says:

    I want to concur with comment #3. Dr Kamuzu Banda established MACOHA to give the disabled skills so that they can economically stand on their own. Koma kubwera multiparty zonse kukadzulakadzula. Momwe amaonekera ena mwa olumala akhoza kukhala cobbler, tailor, curio sellers etc. Kuyendetsa bomatu sikungoti mphuno panire umvekere ine ndikhala president koma ulibe kuthekera monga ndikuziona lerozi.

  15. Danga says:

    Walk the talk Government. You are a begging Government hence you have no moral right to stop your fellow beggars from begging. Government is a parent and if the parent goes about begging from rich people/nations what do you expect the children to do? How as Government do you justify your begging escapades?. Mrs. Kaliati, if Government is not a social state why does it provide SOCIAL SERVICES to the people? Why is there CASH TRANSFER? Can’t you put some of these people on such a scheme? You accuse parents of failing their responsibility by letting their children go begging on the streets , don’t you think Government too as a parent has failed its responsibilities by going about begging on the streets and corridors of the Global Village? Is it not laziness that drives us as a nation to go about begging for fifty plus years? Four out of five fingers point at you Mrs. Kailiati. The people you call beggars have the right to get assistance form Government whether whatever the case. Do you stop assisting disaster stricken people in the Lower Shire for refusing to move upland? How do you react when the rich Nations refuse to give you what you beg for? I do not support begging (individuals or Government) but I do not like the way you have reacted to this matter. Listen then, if you have ears.

  16. Chambe says:

    For children, begging is a no go area. The parents should take full responsibility because they knew what they were doing when producing those children.
    For the disabled, most of them are able to do something productive than begging. That’s where the government should assist to find something these people can do in order to fend themselves.

  17. big mistake says:

    any way,mwawaletsa anthu olumara ndi ovutika kupempha kwa ochita bwino,simunakhoze mukanayamba kuletsa dziko la malawi kupempha kwa maiko a azungu

  18. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Malawi Law Society is full of assholes and those of you who want the street beggars to stay are hypocrites!

    You want them to be on the street yet you dont give them anything. These people are accidents waiting to happen on the roads and 90% of them are able bodied people who are just lazy!

    Kaliati is a strong woman who helps people genuinely and cant be intimidated by these lazy beggars.

    Do you know how these insult you and threaten you with God’s wrath when you point it out to them that they abuse the deformed kids they wheel around as they beg?

    And how much do they want to be given? And the minimum wage is what??????

  19. forgive them says:

    SILVER OR GOLD I HAVE NOT,WHAT I HAVE I GIVE,SIMONE PETER AND JOHN TOLD THE BEGGAR AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE,MEANING BEGGING IS NOT RIGHT IN THE EYES OF GOD,THAT’S WHY NGWAZI DR H KAMUZU BANDA INTRODUCED MACOHA,FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO LEARN AN ART TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES,BUT THE FIRST GOVERNMENT IN MULTIPARTY DESTROYED IT

  20. joe says:

    Kaliati do a home basics before enacting the ban. Most of the beggars found in city of Blantyre for example are those from your district and other Neighbour ones. You finds majority of them loitering in town saying bambo ndithandizeni njala Bwana or the famous one ndi thandizeni transport ndikupita kumudzi

  21. john phiri says:

    Better degrade and eat than pretend and die of hunger. Malawi is no a social welfare state but you collect millions and millions doing nothing. Right from the head of state to ministers all the way mps collect social money. What do you have to show for all the allowances you draw??????????????? Allow Malawians to do anything till you fix their problems

Comments are closed.