Malawi police rescue trafficked children in Phalombe

Police in Phalombe district have rescued five children from the hands of two traffickers who were on their way to Mozambique.

The children aged between 13 and 17 are currently being kept at Phalombe Police Station waiting to be taken back to their respective homes.

Phalombe police Public Relations Officer, Augustus Nkhwazi told Nyasa Times they managed to intercept and rescue the victims at Nambazo trading centre in the district as the traffickers, on bicycles, were en route to Mozambique.

“The interception happened on Friday 8th August, 2014, and we arrested two men in the process. One of the suspects is a Mozambican,” disclosed Nkhwazi.

The arrested traffickers, Mavuto Chikapa 27 years old of Kalumeya village T/A Chikowi in Zomba and Gosten Likangala 24 of Muguliwa village T/A Mwasuwa in Murumbu District, Zambezia Province (Mozambique) are said to have solicited the children from villages in Zomba.

“They went around convincing parents of the victims that they wanted to take the children and employ them in Mozambique. The victims were taken from villages of Sandram, Havala and Linyama in T/A Chikowi, and Kapenuka village in T/A Mwambo in Zomba,” added Nkhwazi.face

The two suspects are expected to appear before the Phalombe First Grade Magistrate Court to answer to charges of Child Trafficking contrary to Section 79 of the Child Care Protection and Justice Act.

According to Nkhwazi most of trafficked children are normally employed in tobacco or maize fields where they are given bicycles at the end of a growing season as their dues.

Recently, anti-human trafficking activist Habiba Osman  said poverty still remains the main cause of human trafficking in Malawi and has since called for empowerment of people to make sure that the malpractice is tamed successfully.

Osman told local Capital FM Radio Tuesday when she tried to add more light on the progress of the Human Trafficking Bill

“The main causes of Human Trafficking in Malawi are poverty, high unemployment levels and traffickers are taking advantage of the situation.,” Osman told Capital FM.

“You know Malawi is a poor country statistically, so there are many people who are looking for green pastures and in looking for greener pastures they will end up doing jobs in a very bad environment, and traffickers capitalize on that.”

Osman said passing the Human Trafficking Bill may not be enough “but there have to be programmes initiated by government to empower impoverished people to make sure that they are self reliant. At the same time the employment law must be changed and immigration laws must be tightened so that there should not be movement of people to places they don’t know.”

Police in Chitipa  recently also rescued five Malawian boys from Tanzanian human trafficker who sold the children at K100, 000- K20, 000 for each boy- to another man in Tanzania.

The five boys Donald Muyira, Petulo Kalinga, Orandi Kasengo, Benson Kasenga and Blessings Ndimbwa were promised good living conditions and hefty payments by the trafficker.

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