Immigration officers in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga have been forced to move Chitimba roadblock after angry residents from Bongolo Village Traditional Authority Mwalweni beat up three officers who were on duty for arresting 46 Ethiopian nationals who were illegal immigrants.
Supervisor of Chitimba road brock Jack Kateta told Nyasa Times that they received a tip on Wednesday that illegal immigrants are moving along the Lake Malawi and are guided by some people who are from the community.
“It was around one o’clock in the morning of Wednesday when we received a tip from well wishers that they have seen illegal immigrants walking along the lake but when we reached there, we didn’t find them, that is when we started doing the patrols along the lake and in M1 road because we know their routes,” said Kateta.
He said during the patrols they managed to arrest 46 Ethiopians who were hiding in the mountains.
“As we were taking the immigrants into our vehicle residents of the area came and started beating our men but lucky enough they managed to finish the mission and sped away with the Ethiopians.”
One of the victims Samson Chikawonda complained that the people were shouting that they will remove the roadblock themselves if they will find the officers at the road block which is few kilometers from where they caught the Ethiopians.
“It was very terrible that people were beating us while in our uniform telling us that we are disturbing their business and that if they will see us at the road brock again will be in big problem,” said Chikawonda.
Immigration Officer in Charge at Songwe boarder Cosmas Kamwana admitted that the place is not safe for the officers, saying people are not cooperative.
“Our officers are here to help the communities around here but if they are the ones beating and chasing away them then we have no choice but to move away, the consequences will follow them,” said Kamwana.
Meanwhile one of the people who witnessed the beating of the officers Rhodrick Majamanda said the officers are the ones who perpetrated the violence.
“People here are very cooperative. But the problem was that after they found the illegal immigrants the officers they started accusing the man who was walking along the road that he is the one behind hiding the Ethiopians without any evidence so that is when people got angry and started beating the officers,” said Manjamanda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :