6 March 2018

Malawi: 7 Elderly People Murdered in Malawi

At least seven elderly men and women have been murdered in different parts of the country since January this year, Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisation (Manepo) has said.

Manepo Executive Director, Andrew Kavala, identified some of the deceased as Wilfred Mbumpha and Tchayi M'bumpha from Chikwawa, Peterkins Mlotha, Witness Phiri and Kehennah Zimba from Mzimba.

He also cited unidentified elderly woman and man from Nsanje and Dedza who were also victims within the stated period.

Kavala said the organisation believes that there are so many older men and women who are being killed in silence in the country.

He then asked government to enforce legal standards that challenge and replace stigmatizing and dehumanizing attitudes and behaviour saying, "the elderly are just like any person who needs to enjoy inclusive and equitable rights that above all guarantee dignity."

The Executive Director, therefore, appealed to relevant security enforcement organs to ensure that all perpetrators of the barbaric acts are brought to book.

Commenting on the matter, Malawi Police Service Deputy Spokesperson, Thomeck Nyaudi acknowledged the occurrences of the malpractice, attributing them to various factors including mob justice and allegations of being responsible for blocking rains and practicing witchcraft.

"As police, we have been receiving reports of such nature. However, I must indicate that the cases have not increased to that far as Manepo is alleging," he said.

Nyaude said to the effect, the police have embarked on sensitisation campaigns to areas susceptible of the malpractice to raise awareness on adverse effects of the abuse and murder of elderly men and women in the country.

"We want to sensitise people to be responsible enough so that they should desist from taking the law into their hands. If they have pertinent issues with the elderly, they should report to police for appropriate action," he advised.

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