Karonga residents together with Member of Parliament for Karonga Central Frank Mwenefumbo have spoken against government’s decision to set up a new refugee camp at Katili village in the district.
Government recently announced plans to open a new camp in the district in order to relocate 28,000 refugees from Dzaleka in Dowa.
But Mwenefumbo who is a legislator from the district has protested the plan saying the move will have long term implications on the locals. “Although l will host this project but still this project has long term implications on the members of this community,” he explained.
The MP added that some residents in the district are also unhappy due to the impending arrival of the refugees.
Karonga Youths for Justice and Development executive director Steven Simsokwe said they will protest against the relocation. He argued that relocating the refugees to Karonga will compromise security in the district.
“Blocking the project will teach government to start respecting us especially by consulting all parties before coming up with such decision. “This is a second time for government in connive with our traditional leaders to make a decision without consultation as it did with naming Karonga-Chitipa road ‘Bingu highway’ but we shall not be defeated this time,” said Simsokwe.
But Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia recently assured the residents of security saying government will build a police station in the area.
She added that government will also upgrade Katili road and improve water infrastructure in the area. The relocation of the refugees is part of government’s public service reform programme and is aimed at improving internal security following concerns over the location of Dzaleka camp which is in Dowa, a district in central Malawi.