Parliament backs refugee relocation exercise – Capital Radio Malawi
4 March, 2024

Parliament backs refugee relocation exercise

Parliament is backing the decision by the government through Ministry of homeland security to have refugees plying trade in various locations in towns and cities to be relocated to Dzaleka camp.

Last week, the ministry of homeland security started the relocation exercise following the expiry of the grace period that was given to the refugees and asylum seekers for voluntary relocation to the camp.

However, there have been mixed reactions to the exercise by various quarters of the society including human rights groups and members of the public, as some believe the government’s actions are tantamount to human rights violations.

Law enforcers bundled up families of the said community and kept them at Maula prison.

Both women and children had to brave the cold winter weather as they slept outside with no food.

The development attracted mixed reactions from the public and on social media, with others calling on the government to consider humanity in the enforcement of the law.

Others on the other hand are applauding the authorities describing the exercise as crucial and timely.

Adding to this voice of applaud is parliament through its defence and security, trade and industry as well as international relations committees.

The three committees have issued a statement which has also been endorsed by Joyce Chitsulo, who is the chairperson of committee chairpersons of Parliament following a meeting which took place in Lilongwe.

‘’We have noted that the action by the government follows the behaviour of some refugees whose conduct in living and doing business outside designated refugee camps without permits is inconsistent with the laws that regulate refugees and asylum seekers in the county,’’ reads part of the statement.

In the statement the committees are however further asks the ministry of homeland security to continue with the exercise while ensuring that it is being done thoroughly and in accordance to human rights by the law enfocers.

‘’We wish to encourage the ministry of homeland security to ensure that the exercise continues within the law and observance of human rights by officer carrying out the task,’’ reads the last part of the statement.

The exercise is being carried out by the Malawi Police service, the immigration department and officials from the National Registration Bureau NRB.

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