Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Cecilia Chazama was shocked with the dilapidated state of the the structure which is supposed to be used as Victim Support Unit (VSU) for Phalombe Police Station.
Chazama made a surprise visit at the police station in order to appreciate challenges and gains on how the station deals with issues of Trafficking In Persons (TIP) and stumbled upon the dilapidated VSU structure.
She said government will help in ensuring that the station has good and spacious structure that can accommodate TIP victims who are in transit.
“We need a decent structure which can accommodate more victims here,” Chazama said, adding that despite Phalombe being the hitspot for trafficking in persons, the district has no substantive transit units to cater for the victims.
The VSU is built make shift materials such as planks, which are almost falling apart and just has one bed.
Earlier, Senior Chief Chiwalo of Phalombe advised the Minister that there is need to seal the uncharted and porous borders with Mozambique that is contributing to the high rate of human trafficking in the district.
Chiwalo beamoned the high rate of human trafficking, saying the district is losing young girls and boys who could have helped in developing in his area and the country at large.
He said there are many porous border exits that are used to traffick the youth into either Mozambique or Tanzania where they are engaged into illicit business such as prostitution.
Malawi government for the first time joined other member states to commemorate TIP day.
According to the international calendar, the day is globally commemorated on July 30 and for Malawi tthiswas done at Nambazo Ground of Traditional Authority Chiwalo on September 11 and Minister of Home Affairs Cecilia Chazama presided over the function.
Senior Chief Chiwalo said that the problem is real and that the traditional chiefs themselves cannot deal with it effectively.
“We need resources to deal with the problem and these should include a spacious transit house for the victims, and transport for our Police officers. Our men in uniform use Kabaza (bicycle/motorcycle taxis) because the available vehicle is mostly used on other duties,” the chief said.
Chazama responded to the chief saying Government will address all issues to do with human trafficking and that they were aware of the situation and that is why the ceremony started with Phalombe.
“We are all geared to address the problem. However, with this decentralisation, councillors and the Member of Parliament can join hands with the community to do some little tasks like manning some of the uncharted border exists.”
She said there are some equipment such as reflectors for security men and women for community policing that can be procured by the local community instead of waiting for Central Government funding.
“I think some of these thinhs you can do them here yourselves.”
Also present were Member of Parliament Denis Namachekecha and District Commissioner James Namalimwe who both spoke to provide resources to fight the problem.
The MP called on Government to quickly start disbursement special funds which Parliament approved to specifically help the victims.
Malawi is a signatory to various international resolutions which includes United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime , adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000.
The main international resolution in the fight against transnational organized crime includes trafficking in persons (TIP). It was opened for signatures by member states at a high-level political conference convened for that purpose in Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000 and entered into force on 29 September 2003.
The Convention is further supplemented by three protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of organized crime; the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children; the protocol against the smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air; and the protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition.
Countries must become parties to the Convention itself before they can become parties to any of the protocols. The Convention signifies the recognition by member states of the seriousness of the problems posed by it, as well as the need to foster and enhance close international cooperation in order to tackle those problems.
Chazama said Malawi has shown its commitment in dealing with the problem and they have put in place Trafficking in Person Act which the President Peter Mutharika already signed it into Law.
She said there is urgent need for the law to be translated into local languages apsuch as Lhomwe, Chichewa, Yao, Tumbuka so that more people can understand it.
Malawi Network Against Trafficking (MNAT) chairperson Rodrick Mulonya, said there is need for all stakeholders to join hands to deal with the problem, which is classified as the second most serious crime at international level.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :