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Govt Concedes Malawi Not Safe for Elderlies

Government has expressed sadness over the delays to conclude some cases of abusing the elderly on witchcraft accusations.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Gender and Social welfare, Pauline Kaude has admitted on Thursday that despite police arresting the perpetrators, there are a number of cases regarding killings, attacks and other abuses against the Older Persons which have not been concluded to date.

"For example, the recent incident in Mzimba in TA Kampingo Sibande, the Malawi Police Service did their job in arresting the perpetrators but we hear that  the court released the perpetrators on bail. Up to now there's no progress on the case yet the whole nation witnessed what happened to the lady through Social Media," she worried.

Kaude was reacting to a recent statement by the Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO) and Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) which described Malawi as a worst country for the elderly to live in Africa due to uncoordinated responses at all levels of the justice administrative system and the absence of structured community support.

She said that what the two human rights watchdogs, MANEPO and MHRC noted recently, is a true reflection of what is happening to older persons in Malawi.

MANEPO executive director, Andrew Kavala noted that there is nothing that government is doing in creating a conducive environment for the elderly at a time they continue facing various forms of abuses bordering on witchcraft accusations.

Kavala said: "Other countries are doing better, but we don't seem to move a step towards protecting the rights of older persons. All the stakeholders should join hands so that we move the wagon together."

Kavala then refreshed calls for a quick review of the Witchcraft Act of 1911 which he believes will provide for the protection of the elderly.

MANEPO is documenting that over 50 cases are awaiting prosecution, some of which date back from 2014.

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