Malawi government through the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia has officially announced that it will soon move all refugees from Dzaleka refugees camp in Dowa to the Northern Region district of Karonga but residents of the northern region border district are asking government to immediately reverse its decision.
The announcement comes barerly after over eight months since government made a decision to relocate the refugees to Chitipa district but the move was blocked by residents of Chitipa citing security threat as one of the reasons.
The Karonga Youths for Justice and Development Executive Director Steven Simsokwe and chairperson for the business operators Wavisanga Silungwe said they will protests against the relocation.
They argue that allowing the reallocation of the camp will comprise security in the district.
“Blocking the project will teach government to start respecting us especially by consulting all parties before coming up with such decision,”said Simsokwe.
“This is a second time for government in connive with our traditional leaders to make a decision without consultation as it did with naming Karonga-Chitipa road ‘Bingu highway’ but we shall not be defeated this time,” warned Simsokwe.
On his part Silungwe said as business operators their worry is on the safety of their goods and lives because most of these refugees are thugs.
Simsokwe further argued why the camp is not built to the countries bordered with the conflicts zone such as Kenya than crossing six borders only to seek refuge in Malawi.
But Chiumia, who confirmed government has finally secured a place at Katili in Karonga, said they will use about K100 million allocated in the 2016-2017 national budget to upgrade Katili road which is about 15 kilometers away from the M1 road.
Speaking after visiting Katili recently, the Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister assured residents of Karonga of maximum security.
She also revealed that the government will plant a police unit in the area as one way of ensuring safety among the surrounding community.
Apart from upgrading the Katili road, government also intends to improve water infrastructures.
Dzaleka refugees currently registers a total of over 28, 000 refugees and all of them will be moved to Karonga once the construction is over.
The $25 million dollar plus project will be carried out with funding from the United Nations Humanitarian aid.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :