Malawi Police in Mchinji have arrested a Zambian and three Malawians for vandalising a railway infrastructure valued at K30 million in the district.
Mchinji Police publicist Kaitano Lubrino identified the Zambian as Geoffrey Mbewe from Vubwi District in Zambia.
He said Mbewe together with three Malawians, namely, Happy Kachala (20), Paul Banda, 28, and Vincent Leonard Kaluza, 19, were arrested on the spot with support from Mapira Village communities.
He said the police assisted by the villagers ambushed the suspects during the night of January, 16 to 17, 2019 following a tip-off from a well-wisher.
“The tip-off came as a result of several awareness meetings the police conducted with members of the communities after registering high cases of vandalism of railway,” Lubrino said.
He further said they found five people removing clips that are used to tighten and secure the railway and that one suspect managed to escape.
“We managed to recover six bags containing the clips from the suspects which they reportedly sell outside the country as scrap metal,” he said.
Lubrino added that a follow up with Zambian Police led to recovery of four sacks containing similar metallic materials from Mbewe’s home in Zambia.
“When a search was made at their respective homes, breaking implements were confiscated. We believe that their arrest is a breakthrough as it will lead to more arrests and recoveries,” he said.
The railway line is important for the two landlocked countries’ economies as it runs from Mozambique’s Nacala Port on the Indian Ocean to Malawi’s Mchinji border line where it connects into Zambia through Chipata.
Kachala hails from Nyamawende Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Nyoka, Kaluza comes from Cheyadi Village, TA Zulu in Mchinji District while Banda is from Benjamin Village, TA Kanduku in Mwanza.
They will appear before court soon to answer charges of malicious damage and theft.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :