MANEPO decries increase in violence against the elderly

Blantyre, Malawi Network of Older Persons Organization (MANEPO) has decried the increase in cases of abuse against the elderly in the country, noting that despite efforts to protect the senior citizens such cases were refusing to die.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday in Blantyre, MANEPO Executive Director, Andrew Kavala said older men and women in the country continue to from stigma and discrimination which should be a concern to every Malawian.

This year alone two older persons have so far lost their lives although we have attempted to sensitize communities on the ageing concept, he said.

Kavala added that, Recently, 26 people sought refuge from the police in Karonga while in January two elderly people from Kasungu were rescued from an angry mob on suspicions of practicing witchcraft.

According to MANEPO, in 2018 over 10 deaths and a lot of abuse and violence on witchcraft- related accusations were reported from across the country.

Kavala urged the community to join hands in a bid to create an age-friendly and age inclusive society.

We have, as an organization, scaled up public sensitizations and teamed up with the media to ensure enough sensitization is done through various media houses with the hope that the majority of Malawians will embrace the concept, he said.

We are working with community leaders, district councils, the police, judiciary and non-governmental organizations to effectively protect the rights of vulnerable groups, the Executive Director added.

Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is currently through community based organizations doing elderly care and conducting special targeting programmes like public works and social cash transfer, among others, in support of the protection of the elderly in the country.

MANEPO is an umbrella body coordinating both national and international organizations and institutions whose aim is to help older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty so that they can lead dignified and healthy lives.

Source: MANA Online