MALAWI: Bishop Urges Parliamentarians to Enact Elderly Persons Bill


LILONGWE, DECEMBER 3, 2021, (CISA) – Bishop Peter Chifukwa of the Catholic Diocese of Dedza on December 1, appealed to legislators to pass into law a proposed bill that seeks to effectively protect the rights of older persons.

“The country is lacking a proper legislation as in the case of other vulnerable groups. Currently, Malawi has in place the National Older Persons Policy, which was developed in 2016. So, engaging parliamentarians on deplorable Human rights situation of older persons has a potential to change policy, practice and shape actions in the spheres such as social protection, access to justice, security, health, education and their independent living,” said Bishop Chifukwa.

Bishop Chifukwa emphasized the consideration of ‘specific provisions for this vulnerable group’ citing that, “the law will create public demand for fair, equitable finance, distribution of resources and protection.”

“By engaging the legislators, the church foresees that the National Assembly will expedite the process of debating and enacting the proposed Bill into law to prevent further abuses against the elderly people,” he opined.

Mark Katsonga, Member of Parliament for Neno South guaranteed that the bill will reach parliament and be enacted at the next parliamentary plenary session maintaining that inadequate awareness of the policy, poor coordination, low funding and lack of specific supporting legal frameworks are hindrances to upholding the existent policy that is meant to safeguard and protect the elderly.

The dinner engagement was organized by the National Coordinator for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) under its project ‘Enhancing Social Accountability in Local Governance to Reduce Inequalities for an Inclusive Malawi’  a project funded by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and the Danish Church Aid (DCA).