By Emma Zawanda

Outspoken Minister of Gender Patricia’s Kaliati’s firing shots to arrest all parents whose children roam the streets has been warmly received by young people. 

A majority of listeners of Timveni radio’s Hear Us Out program backed the Ministers tough action whilst some protested the move. 

Some contributors expressed concern that some parents turn children into capital generation tools by sending wards into the street to beg.

It is common knowledge that Children who flood the streets are usually homeless while others are sent by their parents to among others seek alms.

But the problem on the hand of authorities has not been when to remove the children but how to prevent them from returning to the country’s cities and towns.

Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare has had enough of fruitless operations of removing street connected children from the streets.

Patricia Kaliati sent a stern warning to parents that they risk facing arrest once discovered to be aiding children to be found in towns and cities. 

When put to the youths in Monday’s Hear Us Out program aired on Timveni radio on what they think about the Minister’s hard line stance, most backed her. 

Joana Steve from Njerwa in Lilongwe district said it remains a sad development that some parents are turning children into bread winners in the name of poverty.

"It is every parent’s responsibility to take care of their children by providing basic needs," said Steve.

She feared in the streets, children are being exposed to immoral behaviors and face real danger of contracting Covid-19. 

"The government has to see to it that its threat is actualized and not just another cheap talk," challenged Steve. 

On his part, Mustafa Lenga from Balaka district asked the Minister to consider her decision arguing most street connected children come from poor families and it is from the streets that the families earn their daily bread.

Lenga said, "Government has to come up with clear measures that will promote self reliant and vibrant households."

56 people participated in the Hear Us Program which enjoys airplay 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

36 sided with the Minister’s arrest warning while the rest opposed it.

A report produced in 2017 found that Blantyre city had 1800 street connected children, Lilongwe had 1200 and the city of Mzuzu had 600.

Almost 4 years down the line, the figures may have gone up. 

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