May 21, 2018 Last Updated 8:03 AM, May 21, 2018


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The government is not revealing the amount of money it is expected to spend for the delegates attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) later this month.

Similar meetings in the past have been characterised by a large contingent who included party zealots and traditional leaders, a development that led to the abuse of public funds.

The government was also taken to task after some parastatals were forced to fund people attending the UN General Assembly.

Commenting on the issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Emmanuel Fabiano reveals that 19 people will attend the meeting, among them three ministers and President Peter Mutharika.

Fabiano added that the delegation includes three cabinet ministers, senior government officials and some members of the media.

Apart from that, there will be no party representatives in the delegation.

In the past years, President Peter Mutharika and his administration have come under pressure and scrutiny over allegations of bloated entourages to the UN General Assembly which is a drain of public funds. 

Mutharika has also been criticised over his prolonged stay in the states after conclusion of the meeting.

The UN general assembly is expected to start on the 19th of this month up to the 25th.

The UNGA one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the UN.

Malawi is launching its first-ever National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons on Tuesday next week in Lilongwe.

The government enacted the Trafficking in Persons Act in 2015 to help combat trafficking in persons and ensure effective enforcement of the Act.

A statement signed by Secretary of Home Affairs and Internal Security Samuel Madula, indicates that the trafficking in persons plan of action is promoting prevention of trafficking in persons and support and social protection of Victims.

This includes investigation and prosecution of trafficking offences and partnership, coordination and sustainable financing

The United Nations General Assembly in the year 2013 proclaimed 30th July of each year as a Day against trafficking in persons when Nations across the world should raise awareness on the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

However, Stakeholders in Malawi agreed to raise awareness for a period of 30 days that started on 30th July 2017, ending on 29th August 2017.

This is under the National theme that calls for accelerating sustainable partnership: a key to Malawi action against trafficking in persons.

Last month, the United Nations commemorated the fourth annual World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. 

Initially designated in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly, this day was set aside to raise awareness of this growing crime, now the third largest criminal enterprise globally.

There are currently 22.5 million refugees worldwide, who are at a disproportionately high risk of being trafficked.

A representative of the United Nations in Malawi Mia Seppo is expressing shock over continued reports of racial abuse and discrimination against minorities in the ongoing National Identity Registration Exercise.

According to Seppo the country’s constitution is very strong on prohibiting discrimination of any form, it does not matter whether they are citizens through birth or marriage or even registration.

Asian, Caucasian and mixed race Malawians and other minority groups are still having their nationality questioned when registering for IDs, despite having the required supporting documents.

One of the most notable incidences is on local artist Theo Thomson who recorded a video of what he encountered at one centre in the commercial capital Blantyre.

In the video the artist is questioned on his nationality and threatened of what may come if he does not stop recording the video.

Uploaded on his facebook page, the video has hundreds of comments many of which are against what Thomson was subjected to with others narrating the hurdles they had to endure during the process of getting registered.

Some of the comments state that the people responsible should be ‘held accountable’ and that facing discrimination because of skin colour is ‘disgusting’ and ‘appalling’.

There has been an outrage on Social Media over the matter, as victims of discrimination have been naming and shaming centres where they faced abuse from Registration officials.

Fears are also being raised that minority groups will not be represented in the 2019 Election, as they are currently being frustrated by some Registration officials.

According to Media sources, the ID will be a crucial document in the identification of eligible voter registrants.

The National ID cards are being issued to all Malawian citizens aged 16 and above, while children under the age of 16 can be registered by their parents or legal guardians.

The Government of Malawi through the National Registration Bureau-NRB is conducting the exercise with funding and technical expertise from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP).

Taxpayers continue to exert pressure on the government of Malawi to reveal the delegation and amount that was spent on President Mutharika’s trip to the US.

Malawi's government has dismissed rumours about President Mutharika's health following his extended stay in the United States after attending the UN General Assembly in New York.

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