GENERAL

Likoma chiefs, Police in blame game over Covid-19 prevention measures

By Leonard Masauli – Mana

A blame game has ensued between chiefs and Police in Likoma District with the later blaming the other of frustrating Covid-19 prevention measures by receiving kickbacks from Mozambicans entering Malawi through the district illegally.

Following the increased illegal entry of Mozambicans into the country, chiefs in the district formed a taskforce committee to be moving around hotspot areas at night to check the malpractice.

Leader of the taskforce, Sub-Traditional Authority Mwase said it is sad to note that some Police officers receive money to aid illegal entry of the Mozambicans a development he said is contrary to Covid-19 pandemic prevention measures.

“I received reports that some Police officers do communicate with boat commuters in Mozambique. Monday night I followed the tip and went to the lake where I found some officers and boats with some Mozambicans on board.

“We hear there are some police officers who pocket MK30,000 per boat to allow it enter our district. This is very bad in as long as Covid-19 fight is concerned because the borders are closed,” said Mwase.

Mwase said following the incident, he reported the matter to Police through their spokesperson in the district.

However, Police Spokesperson for Likoma, Sub-Inspector McCliff Ngulube refuted the incident describing it as a mere allegation.

Ngulube said police officers who the chief found, were conducting patrols during that night and they managed to intercept the Mozambican boats.

“It is true that a boat was intercepted by Police officers after being tipped that it was sailing from Mozambique to this island with passengers and goods on board.

“It was then intercepted upon arrival and the passengers were referred to St Peters Hospital for screening and results indicated that all of them had normal body temperatures,” said Ngulube.

Ngulube said the hospital personnel said since the hospital does not have resources to put the people under quarantine for 14 days, they advised Malawian citizens who amongst the intercepted travelers to go to their respective homes while the Mozambicans were sent back to their country.

Ngulube said it is sad that the issue was twisted by some people who would like to work as Police officers themselves, hence the allegation.

Mana/lm/gpb/gjp

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