LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) wants President Lazarus Chakwera’s intervention in taming Minister of Homeland Security Ken Zikhale-Ng’oma and other officials to respect the rule of law in handling refugees and asylum seekers.
CDEDI observes that Ng’oma and other officials’ conduct in dealing with the recampment of refugees and asylum seekers is questionable.
The grouping is urging authorities to desist from making public utterances that may stir unnecessary panic and end up creating undesirable situations in the country.
Addressing the news conference on Friday, June 9, 2023 in the capital Lilongwe, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said Malawi authorities must follow laws that govern immigration.
“Recent public sentiments by Zikhale-Ng’oma and the Commissioner General for Refugees Ignacio Maulana (retired) to the effect that Malawi is hosting 44
former Rwandan Army Generals has not only stirred fear among the general public but also shown how vulnerable our country is because of its porous
“In a serious country such a revelation would have forced heads to roll, but here it is business as usual. Sad,” said Namiwa.
He added, “Nonetheless, CDEDI believes that the Minister of Homeland Security owes the nation an explanation or two on the same.
“Coincidentally, in the same period a group of ‘Concerned Refugees and Assylum seekers from Rwanda’ issued a statement headlined ‘RWANDAN
AUTHORITIES ARE USING LIES TO TARNISH REFUGEES IMAGE IN MALAWI’, in which they made serious allegations that the Malawi Government and other stakeholders should not merely wish away. They alleged that our Ministry of Homeland Security [short of saying the Malawi Government] is being used by
Kigali [Rwanda] to victimise them owing to the Tutsi and Hutu ethnical rivalry background”.
Namiwa explains, “According to the statement signed by Odette Narukundo, the group is urging the Malawi Government to tread carefully on the instructions from Kigali.
“In a related development, CDEDI has noted with concern that in the course of tracking down the illegal immigrants, police are hauling and bundling people,
sometimes just based on their looks, and taking them to police or prison cells without giving them reasons for their detention. This is strange and, to say the
“In the spirit of the rule of law, CDEDI wishes to remind the Minister of Homeland Security that Malawi has clear set judicial procedures where, within 48 hours of arrest any suspect, regardless of nationality, is supposed to be taken to court.
“CDEDI therefore, condemns the recent detentions without trial and an apparent strange case handling that is bypassing the courts,” reads CDEDI statements.
He Namiwa, “Needless to remind the Minister of Homeland Security that Malawi has extradition procedures that need to be followed when dealing with those suspected to have committed crimes in other countries.
“Last, but not the least, let the rule of law prevail by letting issues of migration to be handled by the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services as per its constitutional mandate”.
Minister Ng’oma has not backtracked any rebuke on how is handling, flashing out illegal asylum seekers in towns and locations.