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.

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Wangonde Mwakakuti
Guest
Wangonde Mwakakuti
5 months 23 days ago

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.

Mbereka
Guest
Mbereka
5 months 24 days ago

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.

Banda
Guest
Banda
5 months 24 days ago
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… Read more »
crazy
Guest
crazy
5 months 24 days ago

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.

ZANGALEWA CHARLES
Guest
ZANGALEWA CHARLES
5 months 25 days ago
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 !!
johhn
Guest
johhn
5 months 25 days ago

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

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
5 months 25 days ago
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… Read more »
ineyo
Guest
ineyo
5 months 25 days ago

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.

ndebvuzamwai
Guest
ndebvuzamwai
5 months 25 days ago

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.

The Analyst
Guest
The Analyst
5 months 25 days ago
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… Read more »
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