Police, Nkaya Community gang up against rail trespas and vandals

Members of the community in the Area of T/A Nkaya in Balaka district have ganged up against the malpractice of stealing and vandalising properties belonging to a Brazillian Mine Company Vale mounted along the railway that connects Malawi and Mozambique.

Vale railway construction linking Malawi to Mozambique
Vale railway construction linking Malawi to Mozambique

This follows an increase in number of cases of accidents and vandals involving people from areas where the reailway line passed.

But the fight seem to be facing hurdles therefore has come with a demand from Nkaya Community Policing group which has asked Brazillian Mining Company Vale to provide them with all the required resources inorder for them to win the battle against vandalism of their railway lines.

Chairman for Nkaya Community Policing Wellingtone Chilalire made the plea at the end of a joint sensitization meeting Malawi Police Service (MPS) held in Nkaya Village on Thursday in conjunction with officials from Vale.

Chilalire told Nyasa Times in an interview that they lack alot of things like uniform and bicycles to be used for partrol along the railway line just to mention afew. He also asked well wishers to assist them finish their offices whi has no windows and locks making it
difficult even to keep those arrested vandalising the railway waiting to be taken to police.

He also pleaded with the police at Balaka Police Station to quickly respond when informed about cases of railway vandals.

Speaking to a gathering that attended the sensitization meeting, Balaka Police Officer In-Charge Henfrey Kamanga warned the people of Nkaya and Malawians in general living along the railway line to avoid trespassing and vandalising railway lines and properties.

Kamanga also urged parents to take good care of their children and make sure they dont walk or play around near the railway line to avoid accidents.

He also warned people who vandalises and steal railway materials that once they are arrested, the law will take its course and they willl be severly punished.

Apart from the warning, the Officer In-Charge also took time to remind the people the role rail way companies play.

“Let us avoid being close to the railway and always use the road that Vale constructed for motor vehicles and paedestrians beside the railwayline. You should also avoid vandalising properties belonging to railway companies because they in one way or the other help you the
citizens. The government generates revenues through taxes which at the end buy s you and me drugs in hospitals plus other things that are of our own benefit,” said Kammanga.

He also warned other corrupt minded police officers that instead of providing security to the railway lines indulge themselves in malpractices that the law will not spare them.

“No one is above the law and if you see or catch any police officer involved in any malpractice please report him or her to the T/A who will bring over the matter to police and such officers will face the law,” Kamanga said.

Balaka Police Coordinator for Community Policing Sub-Inspector Roster Milanzi told Nyasa Times that the police is not sleeping day in and out to end the behaviour of vandalising railway lines.

He however admitted that sometimes they face transportation problems to do their patrols but assured railway companies that they have mounted patrols along the reailways with assistance from Nkaya Community Policing group.

On his part, Grevazio Tsirani who at the meeting represented Balaka District Commissioner Rodrick Mateauma said also told the gathering that the safety of the railway line is the responsibility of everyone.

Tsirani said since the railwayline was built, it has boosted business and eased transportation costs for business people.

He therefore applauded Vale Company for observing corporate and social responsibility through various donations and constructions of various items in communities along the railway line.

There was no immediate response from Vale officials who according to their company working conditions, they are not allowed to grand reporters interviews.

But speaking to the gathering in general, an official present expressed concern with the increase in cases of accidents mostly involving children.

“As I was coming to this place I found  children sitting on the railway while others were grazing near the railway, please let us avoid this. To parents, make sure you that no child is from now onwards found along on near the railway even you elders. Trains are dangerous you will lose your life and no compesation will be give and instead you are the one’s to be charged for tampering with our properties,” she said.

Meanwhile, a teenage is battling for his life after a speeding train chopped off both of his leggs as he was playing along the railway.

Another one also died after falling down from the train recently.

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