Balaka Police have warned communities living along a railway operated by Vale Logistics Company in the district to stop stealing fuel from trains and vandalising the company’s property.
Balaka Police officers sounded out the warning during a sensitization meeting with chiefs and members of the communities.
The campaign emphasized much on vandalism of Vale property such as solar panels and the railway as well as the theft of fuel and wheat.
In his speech Officer-in-Charge of Balaka Police Station Assistant Commissioner Benffrey Kamanga said the increase in complaints about vandalism of things belonging to Vale and two train accidents that saw one person die made the station to conduct the sensitization campaign at Mululu area, Traditional Authority Nsamala in the district.
Kamanga urged people in the area to refrain from vandalising and stealing any property belonging to the company.
“This company pays a lot of tax to the government and is also involved in developing the areas where the railway has passed by building school blocks, toilets and other infrastructures,” said Kamanga.
He further disclosed that police has put in place security measures to curb the rise in cases of vandalism and theft which includes escorting the trains as well as patrolling of the affected areas of the railway.
“You must also avoid sitting or walking in the railway lines and also keep your livestock away to ensure both your safety and that of your livestock,” Kamanga told the gathering.
Speaking at the same function, one of the community members admitted that people in the area vandalise the company’s property a development that he described to be unwelcome.
“Indeed I see people stealing fuel and I wonder why they do so since the railway benefit all of us,” he said.
During the function, community members performed activities such as drama, poems and traditional dances. They also held dancing and drinking competitions.
According to Balaka Police, similar sensitization campaigns also took place at Nkaya and Phalula in the district.