Malawu Police in Rumphi backed by the Officer in Charge have turned a blind eye to a ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governor for Kasungu, Oswald Chirwa, who is buying stolen tobacco from farmers in the district despite a government ban on Tobacco vending and intermediate buying.
Instead, police are arresting farmers who complain to the Police about Chirwa’s malpractice.
Last week during the official opening of the Mzuzu Auction Floors, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Development, Aggrey Masi, warned that government will prosecute intermediate tobacco buyers whom he said were exploiting and stealing from farmers.
“Government does not condone intermediate buying of tobacco, needless to say that it is illegal as per laws of the land and if anyone is found, they will be prosecuted,” Massi said.
But it appears because of his position in the DPP, Chirwa is immune from the long arm of the law.
Police sources in Rumphi confided to Nyasa Times that Chirwa is untouchable because apart from being a ruling part stalwart, he is also a relation of the Officer is Charge, a Mr Banda.
“We cannot arrest him because of his connections. You know we follow orders in the Malawi Police Service,” said, our source, whom we cannot name for fear of reprisals.
Several attempts to talk to Rumphi Police Publicist Victor Khamisi hit a snag.
This week Police arrested a farmer in the district after he went to the Police to complain that Chirwa had stolen about 4 000 kilograms of Burley tobacco worthy about MK5.6 million.
When contacted for comment Chirwa laughed off the allegations that he had stolen the tobacco saying he bought it.
“Of course as a DPP official and a Malawi citizen am entitled to Police protection. I have no relation in the Malawi Police Service,” he said.
Chirwa, once a UDF member, is no stranger to controversy and is a notorious criminal known for selling government medical drugs, sources in Kasungu told Nyasa Times.
Last month he was also involved in a fracas at the funeral ceremony of Chief Lukwa’s mother in Kasungu because the DPP was not allowed to pay its condolences.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :