Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima has ruled out any possibility of a diplomatic spat with South Africa following xenophobic attacks in the rainbow nation which have affected 420 Malawians, three of whom are seriously injured.
However, the Malawi Government has requested South Africa to ensure that proper security measures are provided to all people affected by the ongoing xenophobic attacks.
Updating the nation through a news conference in Blantyre, Vice President Chilima reiterated government’s shock and sadness at the attacks and said the South African government has since assured Lilongwe that measures have been put in place to protect lives of all targeted foreigners.
“We condemn the attacks in strongest terms. As neighbours, members of SADC and as friends, we must live in harmony. But let me say here that the attacks won’t affect diplomatic ties with South Africa because it’s not the government sending people to attack foreigners. Even President Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks.”
“The South African government has assured that it is doing all it can to ensure that lives of targeted foreigners are protected by, among other things, beefing up police officers in areas where the situation is volatile,” stated Chilima.
According to Chilima, government has finalised arrangements to repatriate the affected citizens to Malawi, and the first buses are expected to arrive in Malawi on Sunday, April 19, 2015.
The Vice President then disclosed that Capitol Hill had already transferred K59.1 Million to the Malawi High Commission in South Africa for the repatriation process.
He said Malawians authorities in South Africa were finalizing the process of producing temporary travel documents for those that have lost their passports.
“The government has established two centres in Blantyre and Lilongwe in preparation for the arrival of the returnees. Each center can accommodate at least 500. The centre in Blantyre at Kwacha will carter for those arriving in Blantyre destined for the districts in the southern region.”
“The one in Lilongwe at Old Town will carter for those arriving in Lilongwe destined for districts in the central and northern regions. Screening, provision of psycho-social support and further repatriation to places of origin would be the key services provided at both reception centres,” added Chilima.
Chilima then assured the citizenry that aggressive efforts were underway to ensure the safe repatriation of all the displaced and injured Malawians.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :