President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi is facing backlash from opposition parties and human rights organisations for dispatching 221 young Malawians to engage in agricultural work in Israel. The decision, implemented recently, follows Israel’s aid contribution of $60 million to support Malawi’s economic recovery.
Critics have raised concerns about the secrecy surrounding the labour export deal and the potential risks to citizens, especially given Israel’s current conflict with Palestine. Opposition leader Kondwani Nankhumwa questioned the government’s decision to keep the deal confidential, only informing parliament about the plan to send workers to an unnamed country on November 22.
The government defended the deal, emphasising its commitment to job creation and youth empowerment through the export of Malawians to Israel and other countries. Authorities assured the safety and security of the workers, stating they would be placed in locations classified as “fit and safe” and provided with medical insurance and repatriation protections.