..adults and children locked at Maula
Around 400 foreigners mainly from Burundi, Rwanda and other countries were arrested on the first day of Police and Immigration raids raising outcry over the treatment of children.
Senior Homeland Security officials insist the operation is targeting illegal traders and those that were not classified as refugees by the UNHCR.
Pictures of people sleeping on the floor with children emerged on social media last night angering human rights activists and the public that the operation was poorly planned.
“Nobody is saying refugees should be everywhere. They need to be in designated spaces. But locking children in a prison does not reflect well on Malawis international obligations and observance of human rights,” wrote a prominent Journalist.
Reports indicate that some of the refugees were arrested whilst their children were at school while others we denied medication as the operation did not have facilities to carter all their needs.
“They are being processed at Maula. After the process others might be flown home or sent to refugee camp,” said another highly placed source.
Other prominent Malawians such as social media talker Michelle Mbilizi celebrated the removal of traders from Mngona market saying they were buying produce at lower prices.
Other members of the public have been sympathetic of their neighbours for years, cooking meals and attempting to visit them at Maula Prison.
The Malawi Congress Party has a previous record of chasing Malawians of Asian origin from rural areas and its senior officials run down the shops they inherited from those they chased.
Most Burundis trade in retail and groceries and it is thought the desperate President Lazarus Chakwera administration is looking for a populist agenda to shore up its falling popularity.