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MPs denounce racism reports

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Victor Musowa

Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the august House Thursday condemned reports of racism allegedly perpetrated in some places in the country.

Parliament has since taken up the matter through its Legal Affairs and Trade and Industry committees.

MP for Mulanje Bale Victor Musowa said the country is for all and implored the House to act swiftly on the matter to end the alleged malpractice.

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“Malawi is for all. We will not be allowed to be abused in our own country; our own land,” Musowa said.

According to the lawmaker, there is so much discrimination across the country with poverty being at the centre of the problem as foreign nationals take advantage of most locals’ socio-economic statuses to treat them unfairly.

The debate on the matter attracted emotional contributions from the MPs with Dedza South lawmaker Ndaila Onani calling for enactment of laws that should be of benefit to Malawians.

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He said such tendencies have also led to most foreign nationals acquiring more land than indigenous Malawians apart from dominating the business industry.

“For us to move the nation forward, we need to have laws that are favourable to Malawians. Let us protect and serve Malawians that sent us here [in Parliament]. We need black empowerment; we need land,” Onani said.

Chiradzulu West MPs Mathews Ngwale also called for positive segregation in acquisition of land and businesses.

“As a nation, now that we have realised that something is wrong, the country has to identify plots in central areas and support Malawians to run hardware shops. Whenever we want to buy CDF [Constituency Development Fund] materials we should support those hardware shops,” he said.

But Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo, said there is need to understand the foundation of the matters by critically look into the issues and resolve the matters according to the rule of law.

“We do not solve a problem by creating another problem. Let us critically look at how we have lived our lives as a nation. Let us set a policy and legal framework that will solve the problem at hand. We are going to resolve these issues by respecting the rule of law. We are not going to solve this issue emotionally, but diplomatically,” Mtambo said.

On his part, Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, stressed that the country cannot move with racism but at the same time, assured those willing to invest in the country to come forward as long as they follow processes.

“We really have some Asian communities that have abused Malawians but we also have others that have done good. We want to say that the Minister of Justice will come up with a law, while respecting the Constitution but also in a way that we are empowering Malawians. We will not chase anyone but we want them to respect Malawians and not abuse our people,” Banda said.

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