Police in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga are keeping in custody two people including the propriety of a primary school for suspected of trafficking 26 Muslim pupils from Estcourse Islamic primarily school in Mangochi to Zanzibar in Tanzania on Saturday.
Karonga Police Officer in charge Foster Mangani identified the suspects as Abdul Malick Audrey of Zalimu village Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka district and Mustafa Ndelemani the [owner of the school] of Misikatema village Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi.
Mangani said the suspects took 20 girls and six boys claiming that they were going to Zanzibar for training that will be conducted for three months but they did not have reliable travel documents.
“Imagine 28 people are using one immigration travel document which has been just photocopied but belongs to Abdul Malick Audrey and they have a document from Balaka District Council allowing the man to travel with the children but the pupils are from Mangochi,” wondered Mangani.
He added that during their investigation they contacted the chairperson of Muslim Association Malawi (MAM) Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad whether he was aware that some Islamic pupils are going to Zanzibar for training who he said showed ignorance on the issue.
Meanwhile, Mustafa Ndelemani who is the owner of Estcourse primarily school said he was just influenced by the Mangochi sheikh who assured him that the pupils are going for training but he do not know the person in charge.
“This is why I made sure that I had to accompany the children to see where they will be but I really don’t know the whole process,” said Ndelemani.
However, Mangani appealed to people not to take advantage of religious affiliation saying parents should not trust a person they do not know well.