Lilongwe, Palliative Care Association of Malawi and Legal Aid Bureau have jointly launched a campaign aimed at sensitizing the public on the evils of grabbing properties of people suffering from serious and life threatening diseases.
The two institutions that are advocating for the promotion of human rights, the sick in particular, have since issued a strict warning that anyone found grabbing properties or discriminating those that are seriously ill will face the wrath of the country’s law.
Speaking in the area of Traditional Authority Pemba in Salima Sunday, Zhao Mlelemba, Senior Legal Advocate for the Bureau said the legal arm of the government has now grown tooth and ready to bite.
“We have entertained this evil tendency for quite some time and it is time that we act. Our friends who are sick are human beings too and they deserve to be protected.
“The bureau will handle the matter from the first day a complaint is launched until when sanity prevails,” she explained.
Mlelemba said apart from property grabbing which is regarded to be common, the bureau said it was also going to handle all matters that have an element of human rights infringement.
“We are not only pursuing property grabbing matters but also other issues that are to do with human rights and freedom as stipulated in the country’s constitution,” she said.
The legal advocate then described the campaign as important saying it would help the general public to be aware of the consequences of infringing the rights of those people who are seriously sick or suffering from life threatening diseases.
Executive Director of Paliative Care Association of Malawi, Lameck Mthambo said people suffering from deteriorating illnesses are denied of their right to Association, freedom of expression and privacy among others.
He said in some cases, people have named the sick after their diseases; a development which he said only worsened the situation of the affected.
“You wouldn’t expect the sick to heal quickly if they are discriminated against and not getting the necessary support from us and. Therefore our campaign, apart from warning the general public of the various malpractices towards the sick, we are appeal for total support to our friends who are seriously sick,” Mthambo explained.
He pointed the campaign was in one way or the other also empowering the sick to take the rightful approaches once faced with pressing matters or discriminations.
“In our campaign we are also informing the sick about the rightful offices they may seek for help,” Mthambo said.
TA Pemba hailed Legal Aid Bureau and Palliative Care for the campaign which he said will improve the way people were treating the sick.
“What you have told us today is quite important, even us as chiefs we never considered the sick in some of our projects. Now we have been enlightened as to why they too are important and the punishment that we face if we segregate them,” the chief explained.
TA Pemba said sometimes, the sick could not be considered for the subsidy programme forgetting that, for them to be healed, they needed food.
Palliative Care Association of Malawi was established in 2007 and it has since handled over 100 cases of which include that of property grabbing.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA