Lilongwe — Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Paul Chibingu has ordered for a strict security at the country's National Stadium to curb the increasing rate of theft.
The directive follows a series of reported thefts taking place at the construction area which is feared to delay completion of the facility.
Speaking in Lilongwe after a consultative meeting between the construction company, the Police and the Ministry, Chibingu said Government is saddened with the increased crimes of theft of construction materials by workers at the site.
He said this is likely to jeopardize the construction process at the stadium and also delay the completion period.
The minister also said apart from affecting the construction period, stealing of materials will increase an economic burden on the country considering that the stadium is a loan from the People's Republic of China.
"After receiving reports of increased theft, I decided to have a meeting to map the way forward. For your information, this is a public property as such every Malawian should take responsibility by ensuring that nothing is stolen.
" I am pleased to note that the meeting has resolved to incorporate locals in safeguarding and monitoring every single activity taking place at this place," the minister said.
Chibingu further asked the police to search and inspect every individual entering and leaving the place without looking at the position or nationality one is coming from.
"I have noted that the Chinese nationals were given prime treatment forgetting that they are humans who could also be involved in theft acts. Therefore from today I have directed that despite whatsoever, everyone must be searched before and after entering this place," Chibingu explained.
Among some of the things being stolen includes, steel scuffed pipes, steel tarns elements meant for roofing, electric cables and motors.
Inspector General of Police, Loti Dzonzi said the police were ready to provide tight security to reduce the rampant cases of theft at the construction area.
Dzonzi, however, boamed lack of cordial working relationship between the Malawi Police and Chinese Security Team which he said could be fueling the malpractice.
"Most of the theft taking place here is done by the employees of course with help of the outsiders. As Malawi police we are committed to boost security at the facility.
"One thing also that should be considered is shelter for police officers in all the positioned places and let us improve the communication system," the Police boss said. Dzonzi also proposed for finger printing for all those working at the stadium as one way of combating theft.
Cheng Jiewu, Chinese Project Coordinator said theft of construction materials is becoming worrisome and if not tacked would affect the construction period.
"It takes three to four months to import construction materials from the manufacturers and if things continue to miss it will mean extending the construction period as well as some additional costs," Jiewu explained.
He was optimistic that a boost in-terms of security personnel and as well as involvement of locals surrounding the stadium would reduce stealing at the construction area.
Malawi will for the first time have a magnificent national stadium which will accommodate 41,000 spectators. It is expected that by December next year (2015), the stadium shall be ready for use.