This Sunday on January 8, Carte Blanche, M-Net’s multiple award-winning investigative journalism programme on DStv, will re-screen a thought-provoking insert on human trafficking in Malawi. The segment documents the treacherous journey of many Malawian migrants, who brave illegal border crossings and ruthless human traffickers for a new life in South Africa.
The insert generated much interest when it first aired in 2016. Since then there have been appeals from local viewers to broadcast it again, given the startling increase in these crimes across the country.
MultiChoice Malawi Sales and Marketing Manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda said: “As human trafficking is a serious problem in Malawi, this Carte Blanche investigation drew plenty of attention when it first aired in June 2016. Since then we have received several requests from people to show it again. Furthermore, organisations that are involved in the fight against human trafficking made us aware of the fact that there is a troublesome knowledge gap about their cause.
“At MultiChoice our programmes are not just there to entertain but also to inform and sensitise the general public. Therefore, we urge the public to tune in on Sunday for this programme, so that they can see for themselves, the seriousness of human trafficking in Malawi,” he said.
The programme focuses on the perils of illegal immigrants who flock to South Africa, in search of better living conditions. Revealing the countless dangers that they face while crossing the border, the insert also spotlights their harsh experiences both during their journey and once they arrive in the country.
Almost an estimated one third of the Malawian population (which is about 6 million) currently reside in South Africa.
Carte Blanche, which produces of some of the continent’s best investigative journalism, came to Malawi and visited Mzimba District to assess the scale of the problem.
There, they interviewed survivors of human trafficking.On 30TH July, 2016, the United Nations day for commemorating human trafficking atrocities, The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) (a grouping of religious leaders in Malawi) issued a press release to highlight that human trafficking was on the rise in Malawi due to poverty, unemployment and worsening economic conditions.
One notable challenge mentioned in the press statement was the lack of awareness.
“Anyone who views the Carte Blanche story would think twice before embarking on a journey to South Africa illegally,” says Nyirenda.
Ironically, just after its broadcast last year, local media reported that 82 illegal immigrants had been intercepted in Johannesburg. They were all from the Mangochi District and some were girls as young as 13.
Currently over 1235 illegal immigrants from Malawi are being held at Lindela Detention Camp in Krugersdorp, in West Johannesburg. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is failing to fly them back home due to logistical challenges.
Carte Blanche airs on M-Net and M-Net HD [channel 101] on Sunday 8 January 2017 at 19:00 and again on M-Net Plus 1 [channel 901] at 20:00. The re-broadcasts are on Monday at 06:00 and 10:30.