So far, so good but: Muckraking Extra on Malawi evacuating citizens affected by xenophobia

I think the Mutharika administration has been making all the right noises as regards the unfortunate happenings in South Africa, Africa’s second largest economy after Nigeria, during the past fortnight.xenophobia

(In fact I believe Nigeria just got its figures right; South Africa is still Africa’s largest economy, just look at how many Nigerians trek to South Africa in search of greener pastures.)

The official figures put the death toll at six (as of Friday) and the Malawi government say there are no Malawians among the fatalities. But testimonies from Malawians I personally spoke to tell another story.

But, for now, let us stick to the official version of events.

That said, I guess the Malawi Government’s reaction was not only timely but also decisive. That K60 million was quickly cobbled together from our zero-aid budget to rescue our countrymen must be commended.

Official figures say at least 1,000 Malawians are in the temporary Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps in the KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng area. This covers the metropolises of Durban and Johannesburg.

But we know thousands of Malawians, legally or illegally, trek to South Africa daily. (Billy Mayaya puts the estimated figure of Malawians in South Africa at more than 200,000, there could be much more.) Some Malawians could have married South African women or men and mastered isiZulu or Sepedi and escaped the xenophobic attacks.

But there are thousands who are vulnerable. So I say Vice President Saulos Chilima and Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa were right on the ball when they drummed up the ‘Africa, One Continent’ card in condemning the xenophobic attacks.

The Malawi Government must proceed to present a case to the African Union to censure South Africa and hold people like King Goodwill Zwelithini and Edward Zuma criminally responsible for their thoughtless statements that may have sparked the xenophobia attacks.

But, after bringing t he stranded Malawians home, what next? These people, the majority of whom are from districts like Mangochi and Mzimba, are barely educated. They went to South Africa to do odd jobs in restaurants or at service stations.

What has the government planned for them once they come home? It is one thing to safely bring them back; it is another to sustain them here.

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20 thoughts on “So far, so good but: Muckraking Extra on Malawi evacuating citizens affected by xenophobia”

  1. Mike siliya says:

    Tuesday 28, 2014 is the scheduled dy for demos? Whats a bundle of contrudictions! Any way, to ferry them home thats enough and job well done! In addition, jubec shops must remain clossed till further notice!

  2. George Lihoma says:

    If Edward Zuma and Goodwill Zwelithini (one a son and the later his chief) won’t be tried and prosecuted, xenophobia will resurface now and again. And Africa will be betrayed. But if these two will, its gonna be a very good example that the South African government isn’t associated with Xenophobia.
    Its just one simple gear into these two that may simply revive or tarnish South Africa and Zuma. This is a test to Zuma’s power and responsibility. Hahahahahaha.

  3. John says:

    Violence has never been a solution for problems in any society and will never be in South Africa. Not in our name. Zulu king and Zuma’s son must be charged for dis atrocities. Law enforcement must hold people responsible. Away with xenophobia!!!!!

  4. yuthi bway Nyirenda says:

    lets create employment oppotunities so as to minimize the migration of people to countris lyk RSA.To you south Africans ,hav you forgoten what Kamuzu did for you people?

  5. Malita says:

    Bring them home and no compensation ah, inu u should be compensating us who love our country so much and do not leave and try very hard to develop it.

    1. Kenkkk says:

      By compensation, I think people refer to South African govt rather than our govt which should compensate these people and the relatives of those killed. The govt can help them diplomatically to seek compensation from jubek by discussing the matter with their counterparts there. It is a tall order though.

      Our govt is not obliged to pay any compensation as the xenophobia is South African made. Our govt’s duty is to bring them home safely and that is it. After that they have to fend for themselves just like any other Malawians who never left the country. Back to their original chores they left behind before they went to South Africa.

  6. margaretbovo says:

    Pls help your fellow peoples coz this country will never stop hurting and killing foreigners am also Malawian

  7. Hamilton says:

    There are so many Malawians back home who have no job and are suffering who compensates them,then why should Mw goverment compensate the xenophobia victims.They have been brought back home it’s enough.

  8. Malindima says:

    The most important thing is coming back safely. They should not expect anything more from government. They should go back to their villages/ homes and start doing what their fellow Malawians do: e.g kulima. When a country is poor, it is poor; accept that! Do not hope for impossibles from your Government. Even South Africa has more than 25% unemployment mainly the youth.

  9. Kenkkk says:

    Mugabe’s response to these xenophobic attacks is just priceless. The zulu king and zuma’s son should be charged and jailed for inciting violence against black africans from other countries.

  10. Thanduxolo says:

    Kodi a Chigoli ndi a Ujeni mudalembapo zimangilizo zomveka bwino? Kumangiliza mfundo kukuwoneka kuti kukukuvutani ndithu.

  11. yahya says:

    sizoona zikunenedwa apa anthu amene ali mmatents akumalawi ku Durban akupitirira 2000
    komanso according ndi mmene takhala tikulandirira ma phone call kuchokera kwa azinzathu anthu omwalira ndi ambiri not only ngati mmene akulengezera ku malawi.the president of Malaw together with the other countries from Africa need to do something very quickly bcz people are dying here every day especially during the night.

  12. Kulibe kantu says:

    Tenthani, the problem with Nigeria is population. They are too many. Don’t forget there are 120 million. Even if it is the biggest economy in Africa the benefits do not reach everyone.

    You also have your facts wrong by stating that people from Mzimba are barely educated and went to south Africa to do odd jobs. Many of them are have completed MCE. They went to RSA because they are unable to find jobs in Malawi.

    Secondly, people from Mzimba started going to RSA in the 1900s. It is historical. Since many people from Mzmba are Ngonis, they feel going to South Africa is like going back home! That is why all these names you hear such as Mzimba, Bulala, Ekwendeni, Mpherembe, Edingeni, Mzuzu, Nkosi, Makwakwa Thole etc are Zulu.

  13. mbuli ya ku south and central says:

    More needs to be done but as much as I don’t like dpp on this issue and with our resources, they are on the right path. Good job and please do more. We are all malawians and we don’t want people suffering no matter what. Zivute zitani ndife a malawi.

  14. Mtchona says:


  15. lesta says:

    In malawi there is tribalism and nepotism that these people fled from,mutharikas and dpp must be the last to blame zulus,they practice similar policies

  16. Alufeyo says:

    If Nigeria had the largest economy its people could not have been dying trying to cross the Meditterranean. Just lokk at the Nigerian cities they resemble war zones. As for Malawi we must accept that we are too poor or we are just plain stupid. Even if we bring these people back are we going to give them something tangible to make them remain at home?

  17. Kenkkk says:

    Please don’t confuse develoment with economy. Nigeria is the largest economy in africa which is in most cases linked to economic activity and to some extent population. Just as china will soon overtake usa as the largest economy but in terms of development it is far behind the usa. How large or small an economy is, is a complex matter.

    Population and largest oil economy in africa has contributed to the title of nigeria being the largest economy in africa. In terms of development, nigeria lags behind south africa or egypt or morocco.

  18. Chigoli says:

    Ndili kuno ku South Africa.
    Koma ndikufuna kuthoko zamwapadera boma lathu la Malawi pazimene mukuchita kupulumutsa miyoyo ya azathu akuvutika kuno. Ngakhale enafe tikukhala m’malo m’mene muli chitetezo, koma zikomo chifukwa cha azathu amene ali mumavuto.

  19. ujeni says:

    South Africa is the largest economy. Then there is Egypt and probably Algeria. Nigeria is only big on population. Nigeria small country but too populated with roughly over 170m people.

    On Malawi government, yes condemn the xenophobic attacks but you also practise Tribalism another hate crime. You see Malawi government is a pot calling a kettle black.

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