Malawians divided on refugees relocation

An intense debate has ensued among Malawians on whether it was appropriate for the government to relocate all refugees back to the Dzaleka Camp, a move which was thwarted by an injunction obtained by the latter Tuesday.

While some say it “is unfortunate” and would only result in draining the state more of her already meagre resources, others find government’s decision desirable.

Dzaleka Refugee Camp

Writing on various social media platforms including Facebook, Malawians especially journalists and social commentators said most of them had “actually” forgotten their “refugee status.”

Wrote Dumbani Mzale: “They [refugees] forgot about their refugee status, and started having problems with [Dzaleka Refugee Camp]. And when, now, we are telling them that that is where they belong, they are slapping us in the face.”

Mzale, a seasoned media practitioner, said all that Malawians need is sanity to prevail.

“It is too much,” he wrote.

But media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Mallick Mnela quashed Mzale, and argued that the issue was not being handled in a systematic manner.

“The one size fits all treatment is not good. There are others who are productive and helping Malawians in different roles. As it were these people were providing for themselves through their hard work. We had no cases of crimes attributed to them. Now we are killing their businesses and expect them to be a responsibility of the taxpayer through the government’s lousy support or through the UNHCR,” wrote Mnela.

Mnela alleged Malawians were being unfair.

“By the way, how many of our brothers are in South Africa as ‘Economic Asylum Seekers?’ What was our reaction when the SA government ejected them? Yes, they [refugees] are guests. Yes, they [refugees] are not Malawian citizens. But we must always remember that we are one Africa,” he wrote.

On April 1, the Ministry of Homeland Security issued a 14-day ultimatum for refugees and asylum seekers to return to Dzaleka Camp after many of them left the camp to and carry out various businesses in communities surrounding the camp.

This was made in line with the Encampment Policy which entails that refugees and asylum seekers should be in their designated camp and that those plying their businesses should do so within the camp.

However, there were reports that Malawians were taking the law into their hands and forcibly executing the government order, forcing the Ministry of Homeland Security ordering that “nobody should attempt to take the law in his or her own hands by robbing them or causing any violence against them as they are returning to the camp.”

But on the application of one Abdul Nahimana on his own behalf and that of refugees and asylum seekers, an injunction was granted stopping the government from continuing with the relocation of the refugees whose deadline was April 28, 2021.

Homeland Security Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda has meanwhile said they will respect the court decision.

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South african
6 days ago

Ndi anthu akuyenela ufulu monga aliyense munthu. Leave them, government should just get them documented so that they can do their businesses freely and paying tax. America yilikukula nawanthu wakwiza. Let em stay freely not in refugee camps even…thanks Mnela for your good thinking

Phyot Olera Kun Yini

You are busy chasing Burundians back to Dzaleka, nanga atumbuka akungoyendayenda mtawunimuwa bwanji?

Khima
Khima
6 days ago

Nkhondo inatha way back kwaoko and I guess we must acknowledge Burundians as Immigrants than Refugees. They should just do the right processes as demanded by the law.

Ochewa
Ochewa
6 days ago

Chilichonse kuti tidziti malamulo akt chani, ziyenda? We are allowing Asians and Chinese coming into Malawi through dubious means, and establish businesses. People full of crimes and we are busy relocating crimeless Africans. Just very hot issue of the 40indians 16 of which have tested covid 19 positive. 40 Indians coming to grab posts which could have been an opportunity to young Malawians who are jobless. As Malawi we are busy with pertinent issues leaving aside serious issues. My Nyasaland watani Kodi??? Koma amene adalodza Malawi mmmmm adalodza zenizeni

Akila
Akila
6 days ago

Mallick Mnela you are a journalist I expected you to understand,you compare those in RSA & refugees? Who is a refugee? Malawians you are too good!!

Assange WikiLeaks
6 days ago

The problem is that some refugees especially those from Burundi saw a business opportunity which Malawians did not see for a long time. They have prospered while we are busy with politics and other useless things. We fail in business because we want to get rich overnight and charge ridiculous prices. The xenophobic attacks we saw in South Africa happened because foreigners prosper there. The whole of central Johannesburg has businesses run by Ethiopians and others. Why can’t we run businesses efficiently and effectively? Yes they are refugees. Our mistake is to accept refugee from countries where there are no… Read more »

Erik P
Erik P
6 days ago

Many Africans simply have a problem with multiculturalism. These refugees should have a route to permanent residency in Malawi if they work hard and contribute to society. Malawians want to be accepted in other countries. Let’s show compassion as long as we don’t damage the economy. People are all the same. We cannot say Malawians should be allowed to migrate but Malawi is just for Malawians. That’s simply greed.

Selina
Selina
6 days ago

One Africa one world give people a break after leaving their homes and you still want to give them hard times while in the mother land, let Africans be free in Africa, at least let us be welcome in our own continent and be given respect as a people, we get to be bullied all over the world and instead of loving each other we do the same to ourselves as the world does to us, wake up Africa, wake up Malawi

kamwendomnjira
kamwendomnjira
6 days ago

Nkhaniyi ndi ya Malawimulo pamodzi ndi mgwirizano ndi mabungwe ena. Boma ligwire ntchito yake; zikakanika tizionera limodzi. Koma ngati Boma lanena ndiye kuti laonapo kanthu.

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
7 days ago

Ya Malawians are not being fair indeed. Just regulate them so that government should be 8n a portion to know who is where. As long as no criminal activities are not done 6hen leave them to fo their businesses. 2e are as well in foreign countries and we always to be treated with fairness yet our brothers & sisters are ill-treating others?

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