Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali has warned that government is going to ‘squeeze’ Swahilis and Burundians saying they are exploiting smallholder farmers and plundering the country’s resources.
However, he did not explain what measures government will employ in ‘squeezing’ these foreigners.
“This government will not tolerate foreigners getting rich at the expense of Malawians [. If you are married to them, then tough luck,” Kachali said.
But the People’s Development Movement (PDM) has condemned Kachali’s wholesale attack saying it may fan xenophobia.
PDM spokesman Msenga Mulungu said Kachali’s attack is wrong because it is premised on the assumption that Swahilis and Burundians are in the country illegally.
“In fact many of them have valid documents either for staying here or doing business here,” he said.
Kachali cited the 53,000 hectare Viphya plantation in Mzimba district as an example saying it was a sorry sight courtesy of immigrants.
The VP made the blistering attack at Ekwendeni Primary School in Mzimba district on Saturday during commemorations of the day of the African Child, which falls on June 16th every year and whose theme was “The Rights of Children with Disabilities; the duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and fulfil”.
The international Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16th June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. It honours those who participated in the Soweto uprising in 1976 on that day. It also raises awareness on the continuing need for the improvement of education provided to African children.
Improving lives of disabled people
He said government’s commitment to improving the lives of disabled persons is evidenced in the speed passing of the Disability bill into law after eight years of patience and intense lobbying.
Kachali, who talked for less than five minutes on the theme , said it is important to care for disabled children like their able bodied counter parts.
Child Representative Funny Kondowe said to live with disabilities means that you are at the bottom of the underprivileged.
“You do not get appropriate care and support even from those caring for you. If given a chance nobody would chose to live with disabilities,” Kondowe said.
UNICEF representative Carrie Auer observed that many children with disabilities are most marginalized in society.
“Many do not attend school because there aren’t facilities in their communities to cater for their special needs. They have difficulties moving from place to place and they endure stigma and discrimination, quite often from those who should care for them,” she said.
Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Anita Kalinde said there is need for change of social attitudes towards children with disabilities.
While Paramount Chief Mmbelwa decreed that all traditional leaders under his jurisdiction must ensure that all disabled children are registered.
He deplored the tendency to lock children with disabilities saying this was not only dehumanizing but a criminal offence as well.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :