Minister Chiumia humiliated in Karonga: Threatens to deal with protestors on relocation of refugee camp

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia was humiliated in Karonga by the residents after threatening to deal with the youths who are planning to protest against the reallocation of Dzaleka refugees camp to Katili area in the district.

'We cannot be intimidated': Karonga community tells Minister of Home Affairs, Chiumia at the meeting

‘We cannot be intimidated’: Karonga community tells Minister of Home Affairs, Chiumia at the meeting

Government wants to relocate a refugee camp from Dzaleka in Dowa to Katili in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kyungu in Karonga.

The minister was frustrated when she met strong opposition against the project during a consultative meeting held at Karonga District Commissoner’s chamber on Monday.

Speaking during the meeting, Chiumia warned to meet with the protesters on the road as the responsible minister of security.

“I received a phone call from the leader of the protesters that government should expect massive demonstration than what happened during 20 July, 2011,” said Chiumia.

“However, let me warn you that you will meet  me together with security personnel on the road. And therefore my advise is that if you have such power use it to develop your area,” she added.

The speech angered the community who described it as undemocratic.

“Don’t threaten us, section 38 of our constitution allows everyone to conduct a peaceful demonstration. It has shown that you are a dictator but you will not defeat us because we know our rights,” retorted one of the activist Gannett Kamwambi, a lawyer by professional.

Karonga youth for Justice and Development executive director Steven Simsokwe, who is also the leader of the demonstrators said: “As the youth activist I will not be intimidated when it comes to exercising my constitutional rights.”

Chiumia said the decision to relocate the refugee camp follows a concern by government that the camp at Dzaleka was near Lilongwe, the capital city, a development that compromises the country’s security.

“Malawi is one of a few countries in Africa that has a refugee camp close to the capital city, a development that raised fear on the security of the nation. Government decided to relocate the camp to a border district where most of the refugees pass through,” she said.

Chiumia assured the people of Karonga that the process is beneficial because water points and school blocks will be constructed and Katili Health Centre rehabilitated.

“Why not reallocating it to other districts? Is our Karonga  a damping side? We shall indeed demonstrate if you continue with your ill decision,”Simsokwe said.

The community who include MP Frank Mwenefumbo, former deputy minister of economic Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda, former Ambassador Greenwel Mwamindwe and Dr Du Mhango among others vehemently rubbished the decision saying “No to Karonga.”

About  27 000 refugees will be transferred from Dzaleka to Katili which  lies north west of Karonga, about 15 kilometres away from the boma.

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12 thoughts on “Minister Chiumia humiliated in Karonga: Threatens to deal with protestors on relocation of refugee camp”

  1. MungaMunga says:

    I am also from Karonga and I attended the meeting with the minister. If there is a group that Kyungu and the government fear then it is Karonga-Chitipa Cultural Heritage. This group is not only for town dwellers. It has membership in the likes of Green Luliro Mwamondwe, Dr. Du Mhango, Senior citizen Garnet Kamwambe etc who are residents of Karonga and others who are residents of Chitipa. Chiefs, including Kyungu are very much aware of the legitimate existence of this group and underrating its power by government stooges will be suicidal. The group is non political as they never discuss political issues in their deliberations. Karonga and Chitipa people should not be cheated by these politicians. Karonga-Chitipa Cultural Heritage is here to redeem you from the pangs of injustices. Don’t listen to the lies that some selfish people tell you. They cheated you on Kayelekera, they cheated you on Mwabulambo coal mine and they will continue cheating you on other bad programs they want to bring to you. Wake up Karonga and Chitipa. Karonga-Chitipa Cultural Heritage is here to save you. God bless all of you.

  2. Jeffrey phiri says:

    AM FROM KARONGA IT IS A LIE THAT PEOPLE PEOPLE WERE ANGERED WIYH THE MINISTER ,NONONO PEOPLE WERE NOT HAPPY WITH THE GROUP SO CALLED CHITIPA KARONGA CULTURE INHERITAGE , WE DONT NO THE GROUP THEY ALL STAY IN LlL ,BLANYRE AND MCHINJI ARE HARDLY SEEN IN KARONGA AND THE GROUP IS LEAD BY SOPHIE KALINDE FORMER AMBASSODOR ,MWENEFUMBO MP, GREENMWAMONDWE FORMER DEPUTY AMBASSADOR, MALWANDA, FORMER DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE ,AND OTHERS. AND THEEY USE THIS BOY CALLED STEVE, WHO DOESNT HAVE EVEN A HOUSE , HE IS ATRAFFICKING PEOLPE HERE IN KARONGA. AS FOR PEOPL OF KARONGA WEARE GING TO DEMONSTRATE AGAIST THIS GROPU OF GREEDY HERITAGE, WE CAN NOT REFUSE THIS DEVELOPMENT PLEASE THE GOVERNMENT GO AHEAD WITH THE PROJECT, I REAPT THE MINISTER HANDLED THE DELIBERATION VERY WELL .AS PEOPLE WE WERE IN THE MEETING WE HAV HAVE PRAISED HER FOR HER CONDUCT. THIS TEAM IS ANTI GOVERNMENT ,ANTI KYUNGU ,WE HAVE OUR PERSONNAL ISSUES. NOT THE GOVERNMENT NAT ALL.

  3. thumbwe man says:

    Atumbuka, apa mukangokhala cheeete ndiyenso aaaaa. Akaike ku Ndata, near mpumulo wa bata

  4. Parallel Market says:

    If Karonga is no no then give Govt a suitable site but in the north. Most refugees who enter Malawi use the northern corridor. It is prudent to have a refugee camp right there in the north. This decision is not in any way meant to demean the North, no, not at all; it is rather a strategic one. Abale anga aku North slow down please.

  5. chigonapamuhanya says:

    muthana atumbuka nokhanokha. ine mulomwe ndangosongola ndili pheeee

  6. Youna says:

    Ikakhala University ndiye ku Thyolo koma poti ndi refugee camp ndiye ikakhale ku mpoto.

  7. wavisanga says:

    rubbish iwe grace get those refugees and damp them in your home district. boarder district ndi karonga yokha kodi? geography sunaphunzire eti, kawasiyeni ku thyolo ku ndata farm ndiku boarder nakonso. kwanu ku mzimba ndiku boarder nakonso.

  8. Charombanthu says:

    If the reason is to relocate them away from the capital city, you can as well relocate them to Mwanza, Thyolo, Nsanje, Nkhotakota or Likoma. Why was Dzaleka chosen in the first place? If I was from Karonga, I would participate in the protest.

  9. ANALYST says:

    More fire the people of Karonga! tell this foolish govt and the stinking Grace Chiumia to find any other place to dump the refugees , but not Karonga!

  10. GODFEARING PERSON says:

    Karonga has the same insecurity because of the same foreigners who connive with some Malawians on criminal issues. On the issue of relocating Dzaleka Camp, I would like to seriously advise government to reallocate the camp to any border district but it should be at the edge of our boundaries with our neighbouring countries so that security can be easily managed. Places like Ngana at Songwe can be a good location.

  11. thoko says:

    zirikoliko ku mpotoko mwakumanako.

    1. prophet Kay kay says:

      What the government should know is that most refugees entering through Karonga their final destruction is not Malawi. As such they are usually caught in the interior so transporting them back to Karonga would be expensive. Nanga ogwidwa Ku Mwanza mukawasiyanso Ku Ngerenge?

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