At least eight older men and women have been murdered in different parts of the country since January to date, Malawi Network of Older Person’s Organisation (Manepo) has said.
Manepo Executive Director, Andrew Kanvala said this on Saturday in Blantyre during the official launch of a study report on the feasibility of establishing a universal old age pension in Malawi which was commissioned by Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare with support from Help Age Africa International.
Kanvala said it is disheartening to note that the aged persons continue to face numerous abuses and discrimination on the basis of their age.
“So far, eight innocent older men and women have been murdered on different accusations in this country within three months. This is bad and we condemn the malpractice in its strongest term.
“I wish to remind all Malawians that ageing is a process which starts from the day one is born. As such, people should not be discriminated, abused and even killed on the basis of their age,” he said.
In her remarks, The Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr Jean Kalilani reaffirmed her ministry’s commitment to safeguard the dignity and well being of the elderly in Malawi.
“My minister has mainstreamed programmes to deter the malpractice of abuse and murdering of old aged people as we believe that the elderly are just like any people who need to enjoy inclusive and equitable rights that above all guarantee dignity,” she said.
Recently, Malawi Police Service Deputy Spokesperson, Thomeck Nyaudi attributed the abuse and murdering of older people which is mostly by mob justice based on accusations over witchcraft practicing.
Nyaude therefore said the security organ has embarked on sensitization campaigns to areas susceptible of the malpractice to raise awareness on adverse effects of the abuse and murder of older men and women in the country
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1 states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This is echoed in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to which Malawi is a signatory.