Street children on Tuesday celebrated the Street children Day quietly as government is zeroing in on them and other street beggars to force them out of the streets.
Secretary for Gender and Social Welfare Mary Shaba said Tuesday that the ministry and the police are making final touches on an operation that would get the street beggars out of the streets of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
”We are on the final stages; very soon we will be on the streets. We will arrest both the street beggars and those giving alms. Very soon we will sweep them in the streets,” said Shaba.
Street beggars in Lilongwe have vowed to remain in the street and face arrest saying the streets are the only source of their livelihood.
Magistrate Esmie Tembenu said taking children out of the streets is not the responsibility of government alone.
She said parents or relations of the children and the society should take part by showing love to the children.
”Sometimes the children go back to the streets because of lack of love in their homes,” Tembenu told Radio Islam.
Former minister of Gender and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati rejected the street beggars demand for a monthly K50000 monthly upkeep if they are to get out of the streets.
Kaliati, now Information minister said Malawi is not a welfare state.