Illovo donates community policing kit to curb thefts

Concerned with rampant theft of its resources suspected to be perpetrated by community members sorrounding its Dwangwa estate, Illovo Sugar Malawi plc donated community policing materials worth K6 million to Khunga Police Station on Saturday to assist them enhance security of the area.

The donated items included 16 bicycles, 162 gum boots, 162 reflective vests, 16 rechargeable torches, 162 whistles for different community police forums in the area.

Jerry Ndlovu presenting the items to station officer in charge SACP Charles Nsitu

Illovo decided to assist the community policing system after noting that crime has been a problem for Illovo Dwangwa Estate and the suspected culprits were largely from the same community and sounding areas, who sell most of the stolen materials within Dwangwa.

In his remarks at the presentation of the donation, Illovo Dwangwa Estate General Manager, Jerry Ndlovu he said for all the communities and their businesses to thrive, there is need not to feel insecure because of crime.

“Increased intelligence-sharing between Illovo Security and Community Police forums surrounding the estate has led to proactive crime management leading to reduction in theft incidents,” he said.

Senior Chief Kanyenda

“From 2016-2021, we have registered a significant reduction in crime especially opportunistic crimes involving theft of cement, paint and diesel. By partnering with surrounding community policing forums, we have zeroed in on the criminals further reducing opportunity to steal not only from Illovo but also the whole Dwangwa Community.”

Receiving the donation, Khunga Police Station Officer in Charge, SACP Charles Nsitu thanked Illovo for ensuring security in the area, saying his police station “does not have the financial muscle to support the security forums in the area”.

“But Illovo’s intervention will go a long way to ease the problems faced by the security forums. The items will motivate the volunteer community security forums in executing their security work.”

He pleaded with the security forum leaders who were present at the hand-over ceremony to use the items for the intended purpose.

Taking her turn, chief education officer for Nkhotakota District, Gertrude Chipeta — who represented the District Commissioner — said without peace and security, development cannot take place but with Illovo Sugar Malawi’s continued support in different sectors in the district they are assured of developments.

In his vote of appreciation, Senior Chief Kanyenda said Illovo Sugar is a true corporate son to the Khunga community and pleaded with the community to help protecting the company’s assets and materials from thieves and vandals — just as Illovo Sugar is helping to protect their communities.

The Chief also assured Khunga Police Station of continued support in security matters through different community policing forums.

“The police only cannot be able to reach out to all of us, it is our responsibility to help securing each other because as the community, we are everywhere,” he said.

Just last month, Illovo Sugar Malawi launched a K75 million-worth community intervention project to help with the fight against the spread of CoVID-19 in Dwangwa and Nchalo where the company has its sugar estates.

The project aims at engaging with the communitites to highlight underlying behavioursthat have created resistance to adherence to CoVID-19 preventive measures as well as vaccine uptake.

The program will also include a communications campaign in which Illovo isconducting engagement meetings with community leaders, school committees, districts commission, religious leaders, health surveillance assistants amongst others.

In February, Illovo Sugar responded to the nasty second wave of the CoVID-19 by contributing K100 million — of which K20 million was for medical supplies for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre and K40 million each for Kasinthula and the company’s other district estate in Nkhotakota.

This contribution was in addition to the K10 million which Illovo Sugar made during the first wave of the pandemic to the Kameza isolation center in form of hospital beds and monitors and a further K60 million support for Blantyre City Council, Chikwawa and Nkhotakota district hospitals during the first wave.

The medical equipment donated — which shall be used list after CoVID-19 — included BP monitoring machines, pulse oximeters, thermometers, stethoscopes, patient supports such as ICU ventilator, nebuliser, oxygen cylinders and oxygen itself.

Also included were patient comfort equipment and tools such as beddings, bedpans patient trolleys as well as healthcare workers personal protective equipment like masks, face shields, aprons and goggles.

Internally, the company initiated a campaign tagged ‘COVID-19: It’s In Our Hands’ which it launched in April 2020 aimed at encouraging all employees to commit to behaving in a manner that will help stop the spread of the pandemic at work, in their homes and in their communities.

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