Image placeholder

MANEPO, Womens Lawyers to petition Chakwera over killing of elderly woman

October 22, 2020

Malawi Network for the Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO) and Women Lawyers Association (WLA) will on November 13 petition President Lazarus Chakwera at the Office of President and Cabinet at capitol hill in Lilongwe to present grievances over the rampant attacks and killings of the elderly. .

Statistics show that in 2020 alone, there have been over eight cases where older men and women were killed just on suspicion of practicing witchcraft despite Malawi’s Witchcraft Act of 1911 not recognising its existence; and stating it is an offence to accuse anyone of practising it.

This petition comes following the stoning of a woman to death in Dedza over allegations she was practicing witchcraft. Two people have since been arrested.

President Chakwera speaking in Parliament assured Malawians of rule of law saying these issues bring tears into his eyes and took time for a moment of silent in honour of the grandmother.

Speaking at press conference in Blantyre on Wednesday the two groups applauded Chakwera for his commitment to protect older persons in Parliament saying it was a step in the right direction and an assurance in ending atrocities against the elderly in the country but wanted stronger condemnation of the vice and deliberate action from the President’s office on safeguarding older persons.

Andrew Kavala, MANEPO Executive Director said one of the requests in their petition will be instituting a National Task Force to look at such cases and come up with a concrete roadmap to curb the malpractice, just as has been the case with other vulnerable groups like persons with albinism.

“Dialogue remains key to provide conducive environment for older women and men. Age catches up with all of us and let us not look at them now but those who are 60 above in full view we are also going to in the same situation,” he said. Read More and

Image placeholder

Image placeholder

Image placeholder

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE CAN NOT CONTINUE TO WATCH SUCH GRUESOME KILLINGS OF OLDER MEN AND WOMEN WITHOUT CONCRETE ACTION.

October 22, 2020

Population ageing is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century. The less developed countries will experience the most drastic change. The ageing population presents both challenges and opportunities altering the way societies and economies work. Around the world, two persons celebrate their sixtieth birthday every second. .

With one in nine persons in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to one in five by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that we can no longer ignore. Increasing longevity is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Indeed, population ageing is cause for celebration. The opportunities that this presents are as endless as the contributions that a socially and economically active, secure and healthy ageing population can bring to society. On the other had population ageing presents social, economic and cultural challenges to individuals, families, societies and the global community. It is how we choose to address the challenges and maximize the opportunities of a growing older population that will give the global a chance to realise the potential benefits of ageing demographic trend

Sadly, there is a dangerous sceptre haunting this nation in how far we have gone in entrenching our deepest disdain for elderly people. This is no longer the sceptre about how we disrespect our elderly people.

This is the scepter about how we have gone deep in normalizing the killings of our elderly people—to a point of resorting to medieval ways of exorcising innocent people through stoning them death.

As champions of the rights of the older men and women, Malawi Network for Older Persons’ Organizations (MANEPO) is still in the shadows of deep and dismay at the loss of an elderly lady in Dedza who, on Monday, was stoned to death after senseless accusations of practicing witchcraft.

In this tragedy of Dedza, there is something quite spectacular that I want to bring to your attention—because it is a potent symbol of how wrought we have become as a nation.

MANEPO and Women Lawyers Association (WLA) wish to remind all Malawians that it is very unbecoming for one, let alone older persons, to live under a cloud of suspicion. We passed the era when one could do what it pleases, without being restrained by the muscle of the law. It is imperative that everyone should use proper channels to address concerns, for one cannot concurrently play the roles of an accuser, prosecutor and judge. Read More

Image placeholder

CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ARREST AND PROSECUTION OF THOSE INVOLVED IN STONING AN INNOCENT OLDER WOMAN TO DEATH ON WITCHFRAFT ALLEGATIONS

October 20, 2020

The Malawi Network for Older Persons’ Organizations (MANEPO) wishes to condemn, in the strongest terms, the recent gruesome murder of an innocent older woman at Fumbwa village, T/A Tambala in Dedza district on baseless witchcraft accusations.

MANEPO wishes to remind all Malawians that it is very unbecoming for one, let alone older persons, to live under a cloud of suspicion. We passed the era when one could do what it pleases, without being restrained by the muscle of the law. It is imperative that everyone should use proper channels to address concerns, for one cannot concurrently play the roles of an accuser, prosecutor and judge.

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. More so, the recently adopted African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa calls for each African state to be responsible for developing and reviewing existing legislation to ensure older persons receive equal treatment and protection and ensure that law enforcement officers at all levels are trained to effectively interpret and enforce policies and legislation to protect the rights of older persons.

The Malawi’s Witchcraft Act of 1911 doesn’t recognise existence of witchcraft and states that it is an offence to accuse anyone of practising witchcraft. The 2016 National Policy for Older Persons recognises the duty of the State to protect the rights of older persons in a country grappling with changes in traditional family values and the erosion of social support structures.

MANEPO calls upon the law enforcement bodies to immediately investigate and hold accountable all those behind these barbaric and heinous acts. One of the key drivers leading to the continuous escalation in the cases of abuse, discrimination and even killings of older persons is the failure by law enforcement agencies to prosecute those who accuse older men and women of practising witchcraft. The uncoordinated responses at various levels of the justice administrative system and the absence of structured community support systems continue to make Malawi one of the worse countries for one to grow old in Africa.

MANEPO demands speedy revision of the Witchcraft Act, in particular repeal of Section 6, aimed at preventing further discrimination, abuse and violence against innocent older men and women accused of practicing witchcraft.

At the same time, MANEPO expects government to demonstrate political will by guaranteeing the safety and protection of the elderly in this country. Read More

Image placeholder

COVID-19 and Elderly

June 21, 2020

phone in program on Mibawa TV where questions will be answered hosted by Abina .