Police in Malawi and Mozambique have vowed to fight crime across their borders which they say is at worrisome levels.
The law enforcers from Chikwawa in Malawi and Doa in Mozambique have singled out livestock theft, defilement and massive encroachment into Lengwe National Park as areas of major concern.
Speaking on Friday in Chikwawa District, Officer-in Charge for Chikwawa Police Station who is also Assistant Commissioner of Police Davie Chingwalu said cases of theft of livestock were rising each passing day.
“When criminals steal cattle from Malawi, they flee into Mozambique and vice versa. This is worrisome,” lamented Chingwalu.
He added that such challenges were set to end following the memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
“We are here to strengthen the existing and cordial relationship amongst ourselves,” stated Chingwalu.
On his part, Doa Police Commandant, Domingos Deves, said it is high time police from the two countries jointly ventured into border patrols to end rustling and other crimes such as murder and defilement.
Through an interpreter, Deves said there was need to have a holistic approach on both frontiers as a measure to combat criminal activities.
On encroachment into Lengwe, the two sides pledged to crackdown on those depleting the natural resources in the protected reserve.
During the meeting, it was noted that chiefs from across the borders abuse their powers by allowing individuals to log trees and burn charcoal.
In his remarks, division manager for the Department of Parks and Wildlife in the Lower Shire Alick Makanjira said there has been unprecedented cutting down of trees and charcoal production within Lengwe Forestry Reserve.
“Poaching is also on the rise especially in that side of Mozambique as there are no game rangers to address the problem. “All our resources are being depleted and it seems Mozambicans are the worst plunderers as they are ignorant of the resultant consequences,” said Makanjira. He, however, hailed the meeting as a giant leap in the right direction. On travel, the two sides stressed the need for proper documentation for its citizens when traveling to each other’s country.
The Malawian side asked their counterparts to consider issuing out permits to Malawian travellers at Chikula Police in Mozambique.
“We get reports that Malawians are often sent back when travelling using border pass so we are pleading with you to equip your office at Chikula with adequate resources and start issuing out permits so that our citizens can go as far as Beira or Tete,” said Rodrick Chapitapita, officer-in charge for Immigration Department in Chikwawa District.
In his response, Deves said all grievances would be channelled to relevant authorities at Zobue and Villa Nova Border Posts. He disclosed that any migrant issued with a border pass is required to travel not a distance of more than 20 kilometers. “The validity is only for 3 days, going beyond that, including the required distance, risks that you are deported back, something which most Malawians do not like,” said Deves.