Reverend Flywell Somanje…. refugees challenging Malawi laws, not good….
A governance and human rights organization [Millennium Information and Resource Centre [Mirece] has expressed fears over the High Court judgment of relocating refugees and asylum seekers at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa district saying the decision has brought no change to the suffering hosts community.
Mirece observed that the coming in of the refugees at Dzaleka Camp in the district has brought the hosts communities suffering for depleted resources making Kongwe and Dowa Hills protected forestry reserves bare for firewood, timber and charcoal.
The organization said poverty which is high among the hosts community surrounding the Dzaleka camp has led to the selling of their land to the foreigners making the hosts community to be turned as beggars and refugees in their own soils.
In the judgment, the High Court of Malawi vacated an injunction obtained by the refugees and asylum seekers seeking judicial review over Government Notice to relocate them to Dzaleka camp within 14 days.
The Notice which came from Government through the Ministry of Homeland Security warned all refugees and asylum seekers who will fail to relocate themselves after the expiry of the date given that Government will use force to relocate them.
There was jubilation and ululation in the Dzaleka Camp after they heard that a court injunction was obtained stopping the Malawi Government from relocating them and at this time some from districts away from Lilongwe had already relocated themselves while others in towns only closed their business premises waiting for the outcome.
Mirece’s Director, Reverend Flywell Somanje asked the Government of Malawi and the UNHCR to sit down to relocate the refugees to other districts saying Dowa is not the only district to accommodate them hence other districts must also hosts these foreigners.
Reverend Somanje recalled that people of Karonga and Chitipa rejected the Camp to be relocated to these districts wondering why Dowa is so special to hosts refugees and asylum seekers pleading to the Government of Malawi to do something over the matter.
He said the Government of Malawi can engage in talks with the governments of Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] on how best to relocate these refugees to decongest the population at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The Reverend expressed his great concern that foreigners living in Malawi are challenging the laws of the country arguing that this is not commonly done with other countries saying this is speaking for itself that the laws of Malawi respects the rights of foreigners than its citizens.
…..’’Refugees and asylum seekers challenging the laws of Malawi, this is only happening in Malawi,’’….said Rev. Somanje.
He said it is only in Malawi where foreigners are granted court injunctions restraining Government from effecting its decisions saying this is a wake- up call for the Malawi Constitution to be revisited, reviewed and amended.