There was drama at a road block in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga on January 12 2013 where the community cordoned off the police at their base and briefly took charge of the security check point, newstimesafrica has learnt.
The community claims that the police manning the road block at North Rukuru River along the Karonga- Songwe road entertain a lot of illegal activities, and pain them most is that they even allow exportation of maize.
“They are corrupt that is why they allow illegal exportation of maize to the neighboring countries and we are fed up with that,” claimed one villager.
He added that last month, the community through paramount chief Kyungu petitioned the Karonga District Commissioner to facilitate transfers of the police officers at the block because the community has lost trust in the law enforcers.
While confirming that some people caused some commotion around the security check point, the Karonga police station officer in charge, William Kadzayekha, played down the picture painted that the community chased the police away to take over security operations.
The officer in charge articulated that the police moved out of the site as a tactical approach hence their regrouping later to resume their duties.
A source in Karonga told newstimeafrica that heavily armed police retaliated later firing in the air to disperse the irate villagers.
“But there were no injuries only that the people were very angry and have since asked their chiefs to take up the matter with relevant authorities,” said Eugene Chavula.
And news reaching newstimeafrica is that the police have since arrested 14 people in relation to the fracas.
The police say that the 14 have been charged with two counts; of causing breach of peace, and obstructing police officers on duty.
The action of the people of Karonga comes a few weeks after the country’s head of state ordered the police to intensify security and patrols at all borders to prevent illegal maize exportation.
The communities in the villages of Kafikisira, Vindi and Kambitoto in Karonga feel that the police are failing their duty hence their action of taking over the security details at the road block.
It has been estimated that over two million people will be affected by hunger in Malawi due to food shortage. The country has an estimated 14 million population.
Malawi president Joyce Banda has been going around the country distributing food items in an attempt to bail out Malawians from the raging hunger.
With the illegal exportation of the maize and scarcity of the commodity in the northern region, people claim that the maize is being sold at an exorbitant price which they are not happy with.
People in the northern Malawi have also claimed that some people are exporting the maize through the lake service in hired boats which the police say they can not handle the matter because they do not have patrol boats.
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