Spate of killings hit Dzaleka refugee camp: Hutu and Tutsi rivalry worsens

Malawi Police in Dowa district, which is a host to the largest refugee camp in the country, have started making arrests in connection to a spate of serial attacks and murders that have hit Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Refugees at the overcrowded Dzaleka camp

The arrests comes against the.background that refugees and asylum seekers are living in fear following an upsurge in gruesome murders and serial attacks at the camp which are being attributed to the age old rivalrly between Tutsi and Hutus ethnic groups.

At least two people-a woman and a boy were confirmed to have been killed within a space of two months, according to sources at the camp and police.

Another gruesome attack took place last Sunday involving a 47 year old Rwandan national Bavumiragira Deogratias.

Deogratias survived death after attackers broke into his hut where they strangled him.and tied him to his bed.

He is currently recuperating at Fransisco Palau Community Hospital which is popularly known as Mtengowamthenga Mission Hospital.

A younger brother and guardian to Deogratias, Ndayambashi Muhammad, said in an interview accused the police of dragging their feet on the suspected criminals let alone investigating the crimes despite receiving reports and complaints from victims and their relatives.

“No one should cheat you that the attackers are coming from outside (camp). They are our fellow refugees and asylum seekers who are doing this. But what baffles us is why the police are taking ages to conclude their investigations,” Muhammad wondered.

“Do they want to see all of us being killed to start making arrests? Or are they waiting until.we take the law into our hands for them to enforce the law,” he said.

However, Dowa Police spokesperson Kondwani Kandiado said that the police have all along been investigating the attacks at the camp.

“The case file was opened on the two murders and so far one suspect has been arrested in connection to these killings. He is now remanded at Maula prison. On the recent attacks two people- Mizigiyimani, 18 and Bigirimani-37 , both Burundians have been arrested.

“They refused to provide their surnames. The third suspect is at large,” he explained.

Kandiado also disclosed that the.police have since intensified security at the camp by among things running day and night patrols.

Dzaleka Refugee Camp has six locations (areas) namely Blantyre,Kawale, Katupya, Likuni, Lisungwi and Zomba.

The refugees and asylum.seekers say it is Blantyre, which is mainly occupied by.Rwandese and Burundians, that is notorius with criminal activities.

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25 thoughts on “Spate of killings hit Dzaleka refugee camp: Hutu and Tutsi rivalry worsens”

  1. XXXXXXTUBE says:

    go home Burundians and Rwandans..this is not your home…Can you imagine that some CHAM hospitals such as likuni mission, are employing these people, while malawian doctors and nurses are jobless

  2. Nyau Thing says:

    Wapona Kita loves these murderers so much! Send him to talk to them that they should leave in peace so he can make money defending their extradition!

  3. send them back to Nyarugusu

  4. Hlabezulu Ngonoonda says:

    The spate of killings at Dzaleka Refugee Camp arising from the Hutu – Tutsi rivalry is just a symptom of a larger problem that has been simmering between them for the past three decades. It emanates from a culture of hatred that one of them cultivated against the other soon after the departure of Belgium colonialists from their countries. It is deeply ingrained such that Kagame’s government has made fruitful headway to erase it among its nationals. In Burundi the situation is not normal. Malawi authorities should either send the Hutus back to Burundi and Rwanda or the Tutsi, which ever group is preferred. Otherwise the situation will explode in the hands of the authorities. Sad that the events coincide with April 2017, some 23 years after the blood letting in Rwanda.

  5. Naisi Shati says:

    Can someone, especially from the local legal fraternity please educate me on the issue of applying new laws to old cases in the country? A few weeks ago one of the country’s legal experts commented that Malawi cannot extradite Mr Vincent Murekezi based on the newly signed extradition treaty between Malawi and Rwanda. Now a few days ago I heard on the radio that people who were on death row in our jails are bringing their cases back to court for re-sentencing since the country has suspended death penalty. Is this not applying a new law to old cases which were already sentenced based on the laws then? What is the difference between the two scenarios (extradition of Murekezi and possibly others and the re-sentencing of old murder convicts)? Is this not applying double standards?

  6. VOXY PIGU says:

    So you want to transfers these thugs to Karonga? You must be very STUPID!!!! Agalu inu ndithana nanu.

    Why can’t you just transfer them to Thyolo?


  7. Pa Easy says:

    Just send them kwawo onse…..ayesa kwawo kuno kuti aziphana? Mesa anathawa kuphana kwawo? anthu osayamika omwe akukhala ku dera la blantyre

  8. DPHIRI says:

    Send them home so they kill each other there b4 they teach our children

    1. Hlabezulu Ngonoonda, Qumayo Mzekezeke and Hurstone Makungwa says:

      Children are born innocent. As such they are so innocent. They do not have hate in their precious little hearts. It is the responsibility of parents to tell children want is correct and what is wrong. But if the parents disseminate wrong information to them, that information has a strong bearing as they grow up such that whatever wrong information was passed to them is taken as being true. Such information is difficult to erase from their mind if children were taught prejudice at home. Records after the 1994 genocide reveal that Hutu people were the ones who planted the seeds of the problem. It all started in the 19th century. In 2008 Tutsis children survivors learning at Nyagahinika school were being harassed by Hutu students. Graffiti was even found on daily basis. Other 32 schools experienced the same problem. Nyagahinika schools was closed and the authorities were called in to educate the children on the importance of living in peace, unity, tolerance and reconciliation. But a research by a committe of MPs revealed that the hatred is still prevalent in most of them. Their conclusion was parents were still sowing seeds of hatred among children. So what is happening at Dzaleka between them is a continuation of what they were told by their parents.

  9. CHIM says:

    THese are not refugees
    They are mafias
    From their cointries

  10. Gandamali says:

    This the more reason these people must be extradited back home. they cant be bringing their hatred to this peaceful country. Worse still the govt is making their ill conceived idea of moving the camp to the border district of Karonga. This is a threat to national security

  11. bristone mabichi says:

    No wonder the government wants Dzaleka out of Dowa and be taken to Karonga, specifically Katili. Rwanda is far much better than Malawi economically, I wonder why we are still keeping these people around. They should be repatriated or UNHCR should find them a permanent home. A friend who was a refugee in Zimbabwe is now finally in Canada as his new home. What is wrong with Malawi? Refugees should not be a bait for easy donor-money.

    1. Nonkeli says:

      I believe the reasoning for re-locating them to Karonga is because that is closest to their entry point and besides, it puts them as far away from their intended exit point to South Africa. At Dzaleka they are far from their point of entry, where they can be sent back to and closest to their intended point of exit, which is the Mwanza/eMozambique/Zimbabwe route.

  12. Igwe says:

    Popanda Thyolo kapena Ndata?

  13. Mzika Yeni Yeni says:

    Ayi ndizimene tikunenazi. Anthuwa kwawo nkhondo zinatha ndiye asayambe zankhondo zakwawo kwathu kuno. A kayamba izi chonde azipita kwawo nyatsi kuno ayi.

    A Police athu they have a duty to protect its citizens NOT when these strangers start killing each other. Ayi!!! Akana Khala a Malawi akumapha alendowo tikanati asiyilethu mawa akakhala ali iwo.

  14. Baffod says:

    Wait a minute…Why do we still have refugees from Ruanda and Burundi? War ended a decade ago.

  15. Wa Moyale says:

    Nkhondo kwao ilipobe anthu wa ngati bwanji asawabwezera kwao as Kenya did?

  16. mposa says:

    Hahaha don’t tarnish my Blantyre

  17. Blessed Banda says:

    Send them back to their home. Rwanda is peaceful. Why keep Rwandees in Malawi. If they committed crimes in Rwanda, let them face the law. That’s why they are doing the same in Malawi.

  18. Chief Mpango says:

    why our government is still keeping this people? in Rwanda no war please go back home and eat banana and pork

  19. Akatwiri says:

    please just deport them to their respective countries

  20. Chigwere says:

    Go home!! we are told your countries is doing really fine than Malawi.. Go home

  21. be humane says:

    Please Nyasa, learn to use correct terminologies. Spate of killings is equivalent to a mass killings or massacre or outbreak or series of killings but the story talks of two death within two months. Does this qualify to be called massacre or outbreak. Yes I understand that even one death is just too many no life is supposed to be lost in such a manner

    1. Hlabezulu Ngonoonda says:

      You are right. May be the wording should have been ‘isolated murder incidents at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.’ Even myself I have used the same word ‘spate of killings’ which I now regret

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