Malawi: Mangochi, Mozambique Districts Discuss Security

16 November 2020

Officials from Mozambique's bordering districts of Mandimba, Mecanhela and Ngauma, and their Malawian counterparts from Mangochi have agreed to solve cross-border challenges, including human trafficking, enrocachment and smuggling of goods.

The 18-member Mozambique delegation arrived at Chiponde Border on Wednesday morning and the visiting team paid courtesy call at the District Commissioner's office before proceeding to Malawi Police Cottage where the meeting was convened.

Mangochi District Commissioner, Dr Raphael Lawrence Piringu, told journalists that they initiated the meeting to discuss cross-border challenges affecting the two countries's border districts.

He said the two sides have resolved to "strengthen consultation and collaboration on cross border crimes such as smuggling of goods, human trafficking and encroachment."

Piringu cited an example of four Malawians who were arrested in June for allegedly cutting down trees on Mozambique's Mandimba side and they are still being kept in police custody without trial.

The DC said: "The four Malawians are from Bwananyambi. They were caught fetching firewood in a forest that extends into Mozambique side.

"However, following the meeting, I hope that the the four Malawians will be extradited to be tried back home."

Piringu said the two sides have resolved to introduce border pass at their border points for easy identification of their respective citizens on either side.

On his part, DC for Ngauma, Augusto Luis Assique, who led the Mozambican delegation, described their visit as normal.

He noted that the two sides face similar challenges which, he said, grow due to lack of collaboration and that time has come to find solutions.

On the four Malawians who are still in custody in Mandimba, Assique said the police in Mandimba will "find a way of speeding up the process with the courts".

The DC also described the visit as an opportunity for the two sides to share experiences of the management of the global pandemic, COVID-19, and other diseases such as cholera.

"The three border districts that we are representing here have had no cholera cases for the past years and these are the experiences we need to share," he explained.

When the meeting ended, the hosts escorted the visiting delegation to Chiponde Border and saw them off to their homeland.

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