Lilongwe, Over 3oo former Malawi Young Pioneer (MYP) members have been living in pathetic conditions whilst waiting for government to grant their request for compensation for their service during the Kamuzu Banda era.
The group, which was a paramilitary wing during the one party regime, has been camping at the Kamuzu Memorial Tower in Area 18 for the past three weeks.
The grouping said it is ready to endure any harsh conditions for as long as they can while waiting for government to give them their money.
Speaking to Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday at Capital Hill offices, leader of the group Franco Chilemba said they are encountering a lot of obstacles as they desperately push for their petition to be met by government.
We decided to camp out at the tower after being forcibly removed by police from Capital Hill office gates where we had spent a night. We have been surviving on handouts from well wishers to cater for food and basic necessities for the past three weeks Chilemba said.
He added that their living conditions are not conducive especially for some members like women who require special sanitary needs and some on antiretroviral therapy (ART) who need specific diet requirements.
We are frustrated and desperate. Government keeps dodging us and delaying our payments despite our attempts to knock on its door every day.
If all fails here, the last attempt will be a march to the state house and request an audience with the president Chilemba said.
Joyce Zingani, who has come all the way from Mzuzu, concurred with Chilemba saying their health is at risk as they do not have proper sanitation facilities.
We have been forced to help ourselves in the bushes. We are living in fear of being attacked because we are sleeping outside on bare grounds without any security, Zingani said.
MYP was disarmed by the Malawi Army in a military operation famously called ‘Operation Bwezani’ at the height of political transition from one-party state to multiparty in 1993.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA