The Minister was on her way to Matache Village, Traditional Authority Mposa in Machinga district to launch both this year’s National Campaign Week of Early Childhood Development and Timverane Community-Based Childcare Centre (CBCC) in the district.
Kaliati said government is making strides to clear all city streets of wandering kids and beggars from all cities including districts adding this will be an on-going operation.
Said Kaliati, “My apology for coming late at this function. In fact I made a stopover in Zomba where I was chasing away street kids and beggars. I will not get tired until all the country’s cities are clean.
“For your own information, I was doing the same exercise in Lilongwe last week where I made progress and next is Blantyre city.
“To my surprise others who are acting as beggars in the cities are women who have children pretending as if they are desperate. Is this good to our nation?” wondered Kaliati who promised to deal with the challenge.
The minister noted that government has devised plans to empower women economically as a step forward in ensuring that their households have basic necessities, hence children will not be going back to the streets to beg.
“We have a number of statutes designed to promote children and women’s rights in the country. We want to popularize all these acts. The sweeping exercise is part of the activities this ministry has lined up as a way of helping the Malawian child to have a better life,” she said.
“With these statutes government will be able to prosecute parents who send their children in the streets. We know out there we have women who dump their children to concentrate on their illicit business, if we find out such women the law will deal them,” Kaliati said.
She said government would like to see children attaining education with proper parental care, saying government will not compromise implementation of child rights at a time when the country has numerous legal instruments meant to protect them.
According to statistics, Lilongwe tops the list in the number of street children and beggars with about 7,000. Blantyre has about 5,000 with Zomba registering about 2,000 and Mzuzu about 500.