MPs accuse Malawi army soldiers for killing villagers at Dzalanyama forest
Debate in Parliament, Wednesday reached a high note when some Members of Parliament accused the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) for killing two villagers at Dzalanyama forest while guarding against people who had intentions of cutting down the trees for charcoal.
It is believed that mid last year, upon receiving reports that people were invading the forest and unnecessarily cutting down trees, government deployed men in uniform as one such measure.
However, instead of guarding against the forest, it is allegedly believed that the soldiers were terrorising communities around Dzalanyama to the extent of killing them.
Reporting in the House, Member of Parliament for Lilongwe South, Peter Dimba said it was unfair for soldiers to humiliate people they are supposed to protect right in their homes.
“I wish to report to this August House with sadness and great concern, while we acknowledge the role that our men in uniform are playing in protecting our forest, it is disheartening that they have gone beyond limits by terrorising our people.
“May I ask the government to speak to our soldiers to only guard the forest without intimidating Malawians especially those living around the forest. As I speak, two people from my constituency were killed by MDF officers,” Dimba explained.
This did not go down well with Minster of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka who stood on a point of order asked Dimba to withdraw the accusations as it lacked evidence.
“The Honourable Member cannot come in here and start accusing our MDF soldiers without providing proof. Let him bring the evidence if what he is saying is true,” Msaka queried.
High tempers could be felt between the two Parliamentarians and Dimba contested accusing government for lack of care.
“After all the reports, the Minister energetically stands up refuting and defending the MDF as if nothing happened? This is sad let him show remorse and maturity,” said Dimba.
But Msaka still insisted for evidence.
Leader of the House, Francis Kasaila intervened but still requested for the evidence.
“All we are saying is that these are just allegations against the soldiers, let the member come up with the evidence he has,” Kasaila explained.
The remarks by Kasaila irked, Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Mpenu, Makala Ngozo who said the matter was a serious one and appealed to the government to intervene.
“This issue really happened and we had meetings at a district level, the minister should consult the Lilongwe District Commissioner for more details,” explained Ngozo.
Deputy Minister of Defence, Madalitso Ndau confirmed having received a phone call from Dimba and said he was waiting for the findings from the team he had sent to carry the investigations.
“Yes, I got the call from the MP and as an office we deployed staff to find out. I am yet to receive the report of the findings and, once I get it, I will communicate to the House,” Ndau said.
The confirmation by the Deputy Minister of Defence provided a relief for the First Deputy Speaker, Mcheka Chilenje to rule that the matter be closed until when the report is brought to the house.
“Since the Deputy Minister has promised to bring the report findings to this house, until then, the matter is closed,” said the speaker.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
Asiyeni anthuwo aotche makalawo. Mesa chitukuko chikukanika kumpotoko chifukwa cha tchire? Nanunso amene munadzipatsa nokha dzina loti a boma,mpaka khoba kuipatsa kulondera nkhalango? Bwanji osawatumidza ku Lebanon akathane nazo zasaizi yawo kumeneko. Munthu mwamphunzitsa unamwino mukukamgwiritsa ntchito yopala matabwa,noscence. Aphadi asilikaliwo ndipo anthu atha chifukwa iwo anaphunzira kupha osati kulondera.
i agree with you Cheyo. Nobody is above the law. Because its not the first time that soldiers have killed innocent people one house boy was killed at military police and up to now no compesation was given to the family. The soldiers area a very high of committing acts of indiscipline because nowadays in the army soldiers go unpunished beause the General Maulana is protecting people who are close to him and have committed all crimes in the army which will result them to being fired from work and because people are getting away with all sorts of things… Read more »
Politicians should learn the right use of military. Military use excessive force in their mission. So to take military for rogue and vagabond or kulondera nkhalango thats misuse of military, police use reasonable force. Military ndi ya nkhondo. full stop
Kuopa ma Uniform? oh! kodi nkhuni ndi moyo wamunthu, chofunikira ndi chani?
Paja Anthu aku Malawi mumapembedza masoldier ngati ndi Milungu! komatu Mulungu, Mphambe, Osaodzera, Madala Madala, Olenga thambo uja, athana nanuu!!!!!
I am of the view that to some extent these villagers went to extremes, may be of non complliance. Much as I shed tears for the deceased, I have trust in the MDF proffessionalism and I say they are the best in Africa in as far as infantry operations are concerned. If it were Malawi Police I would think otherwise because they are brutes and useless. Isalute the entire MDF. Thumbs up MDF and down Malawi Police
Bwanji asilikaliwo osamadzapha anthu akummerla kuno kumene anameta Maliro madanzi kuno. Look at Chiradzulu mountain. No one has a right to take someone’s life just like that, let them be brought to book. And the foolishness of some ministers who just respond for the sake of doing it, why didn’t they ask each other first.
There is something which is completely wrong in the mentality of MCP MPs. The soldiers r protecting the forests and MCP comes in with this stupid argument. Can u imagine the question which Juliana Lungudzi asked Msaka about repairing a transformer in her Constituency, instead of asking directly she goes gibberish! “since the transformer got damaged a month ago there is an increase of wantom trees cutting down of trees for firewood near Khwekwelere”. My question is have the people of Khwekelere increased the use firewood bcoz there is no electricity to operate their cookers? Really? The answer is no… Read more »
I am from the same area where the Dzalanyama forest stretch. I tell you if the soldiers will be soft then the whole watershed area that supply the capital city will be depleted. The charcoal burners are very destructive. They have no regard for the environment. The MP outburst on this issue just show how too political he is at the expense of nation good. Brave MDF. Kodi mukalephera inu kuteteza basitu. The politicians failed, the forestry department failed. In case you doubt that I am from the same area; kuchokera kwa Majamanda, Chiumbuni mmalire ndi Mozambique mpaka Chigalu, former… Read more »
Adachita kutumidwa kuti azipha anthu amene amavotela chakwela kumwela sanga pange koma potengela uchitsilu wa mafumu apakati aaa tiziphedwa ndithu
Guys this is not true that MDF can just attack villagers. You MPs must be the ones advising your people not to destroy the forest. Well done soldiers these people do not listen and think it is a joke when we cry about deforestiration. In fact these soldiers must protect all our forest in the country starting with Machinga forest; Zalewa forest, Dzalanyama , Chimaliro forest, Chikangawa forest Kamwe Forest , Kaning;a forest . MDF do not listen to these baby cries we are just tired of deforestiration! I am not a DPP supporter but I take merit where there… Read more »