Elderly not witches, says Malawi Pres. Banda

President Joyce Banda on Saturday called on  Malawians to  desist referring to old people as witches and respect them.

Belief in witchcraft runs deep alongside Christianity in Malawi and the elderly are mostly suspects.

The Malawi leader hosted senior citizens from the Central Region to a luncheon and event dubbed “Bring a Blanket” at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

In her address, President Banda said:  “It is sad to note that when you are old people think you are witch; my question has always been if the aged are witches, could they have raised people that are in different high positions today?

JB interacts with an old woman
JB interacts with an old woman

The Malawi leader received an emotional ululation from the elderly.

The event which was dubbed ‘Senior Citizens and Bring a Blanket Charity Event’ saw politicians; companies and individuals bringing blankets to the Palace, which were eventually distributed to the elderly, one each.

Over 2000 old people from all the Central Region Districts attended the function.

The event raised over 12,000 blankets and among these, 6,000 were donated by the President, herself.

“When you are old, you can’t work and if you can’t work you can afford everyday basic needs, I therefore decided to host Bring a Blanket event as one way of giving to the aged and interacting with the,” said President Banda.

President Banda said she was not doing this to buy political support.

“This is not part of campaign; I clearly indicated to organisers of this event that I want grandmothers and grandfathers who were 70 years old and above. These are the people who are often left at home when you go to cast your vote during elections.”

A  similar event is expected to be held in Zomba, Blantyre, Mangochi and Nkhatabay.

JB with women
JB with women
President Dr Joyce Banda interacting with the senior citizens. pic by Felix Washon. MANA
President Dr Joyce Banda interacting with the senior citizens. pic by Felix Washon. MANA
JB with old lady
JB with old lady

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