Malawians have been urged to love, respect and work with the older persons for the development of the country.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disabilities and Social Welfare, Dr Jean Kalilani made the call when she presided over the commemoration of the national day of older persons that was held Saturday at Mponela 2 ground in Dowa district.
She said older persons have the right to life just like any other person and should not be discriminated in any either form.
“Traditional leaders, MPs, Councilors and churches should take a leading role in the protection and safeguarding lives of older persons for them to contribute positively to the development of their areas, district and the country,” Kalilani said.
The Minister assured older persons living in Dowa that government has finalized all the arrangements of the social cash transfer programme for Dowa and the other 10 remaining districts which will also support the elderly.
“There is hope that comes January 2017, older persons of the district will be receiving a little something to support their wellbeing as other districts in the country, “Kalilani said.
Help Age International, head of programmes for Southern Africa, Elizabeth Hughes-Chulu said her organisation with partners including MANEPO remains committed to continuing the journey towards the realization of economic empowerment and fulfillment of the rights of older people in Malawi.
”The launch of the feasibility study talks is the commitment of the government of Malawi to open dialogue with its people about the issue as one of the key steps towards realizing the Universal Pension for older people,” Huges-Chulu said, adding that her organisation is leading the campaign for improving lives of older persons by drawing attention and challenging negatives, stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and aging.
Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO) national coordinator, Andrew Kavala, thanked the government of Malawi for signing the UN Charter on the rights of older persons in Malawi and appealed to the police to treat older persons with dignity when they come to their offices reporting cases of abuse and violence against them.