Malawians in South Africa calls for repatriation as lockdown extends

Malawians living in South Africa have asked government to consider bring them home saying the sufferings inflicted by lockdown are unbearable.

On July 3, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced of extension of lockdown measures until September 2020.

The news has sent shivers down the spine of Malawian citizens in the country and are calling for Malawi government to consider repatriate them back home.

Director of Malawian Business forum in the Diaspora, Jones Yamikani Chadza said alot of Malawians are suffering due to lockdown measures and cannot access food and sometimes shelter.

“We have numerous Malawians suffering. As I speak to you, some are sleeping in park stations and on empty stomach. I have lists and lists of people who want to return home. use they are too many. I receive calls day and night of people I need of help and willing to return home. We have thousands of them,” said Chadza

Chadza said he has taken an initiative to approach the Malawi embassy on the same but they have not been forthcoming.

He said the previous government initiative that sent buses to repatriate some Malawians was not effective as only business people that were stranded due to lockdown were the ones that benefited.

Alvin Tambala from Pretoria North said numerous Malawians are stranded and would like to come back home.

Tambala said there was a huge struggle on the previous buses which were sent by the then government and only business people benefited to ferry their merchandise home.

Another concerned Malawian in the Diaspora, Moses Simkonda said alot of Malawians lost their jobs due to the lockdown and they have nowhere else to rely on.

“We call for  help so that these people can go home otherwise it’s hard to live here in South Africa without anything to do,” lamented Simkonda

However, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign affairs Rejoice Shumba said government is not repatriating it’s citizens and those willing to come home are doing that on their own initiative.

“Government of Malawi is not repatriating it’s citizens, what is happening is that if there are people willing to return home, they are doing that on their own, hiring buses and pay , then contact the embassy to provide them with clearance so that they can cross the boarders without any problems,” said Shumba

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