Government has disclosed that it has plans to develop an Act to protect the elderly in the country from being killed and discriminated against on allegations of practicing witchcraft.
Director of Programs, Management and Evaluation responsible for Disability and Elderly Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Felix Sakawa was reacting to current statistics from Malawi Network of Older Persons Organization (MANEPO) which indicated that at least eight elderly people have been killed in different parts of the country since January to date.
Sakawa said it is disheartening to note that the elderly continued to face numerous abuses and discrimination on the basis of their age.
He said government remains committed to ending violence and abuse against the elderly and that plans are at an advanced stage to develop an Act to protect the senior citizens in the country.
“Once an Act becomes a law, all those committing an offence against older persons shall be punished accordingly,” Sakawa said.
Country Director for MANEPO, Andrew Kavala observed that the Law once in force would turn around the present situation, saying currently MANEPO is not satisfied with sentences being given to offenders responsible for murdering older persons in Malawi.
“We are not satisfied with some of the sentences which are given when people abuse older persons. We would like to be working closely with the judiciary not necessarily to influence their determinations but for the judiciary to begin mainstreaming the ageing component,” he said.
“There are very good laws and policies in Malawi which protect children. We would also want to have the same policies and regulations to protect older persons,” Kavala said.
Kavala emphasized that this would imply that if someone kills an older person on grounds of witchcraft which cannot be proved in a court of law, that individual should get stiffer or life sentences to deter would be offenders.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :