Ministry formulates laws to protect elderly people in Malawi

Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Principal Secretary (PS) Erica Maganga says the ministry is drafting laws that will ensure safety and protection of elderly people in the country.

Malawian old man

The PS said this in Neno on Friday during the commemoration of the World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day.

She said: “The elderly are facing physical, emotional and economic abuses. As a ministry, we already have the Elderly Policy and now we are in the process of developing the laws that will be used to safeguard rights of the elderly persons.”

According to the PS, the law is currently being drafted.

“We hope to finalise the bills after consultations with various stakeholders and then we will take them to Parliament through the Ministry of Justice so that now they can be enacted into law,” said Maganga.

She further urged traditional leaders to formulate by-laws aimed at protecting the elderly in their respective communities.

“Chiefs are key to promoting the welfare of the elderly in our communities. As such, they are supposed to come up with by-laws to ensure their protection from any form of abuse and also ensure they have food and shelter,” said Maganga.

During the commemoration, Dick Chigwenembe, 87, narrated how he was chased from his house by his wife and stepchildren after being falsely accused of sorcery.

“I have been with my wife for 32 years and during this time, I raised her children and her extended family as my own. After educating them, the children started accusing me of being a wizard and I was forced out of my matrimonial home. Life is hard now as I left everything I had behind,” he said.

This year’s commemorations were held under the theme Access to Justice: Legal, Social and Economic Services for Older Victims of Sexual, Physical and Financial Crimes.

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