Officials from Mozambique’s border districts of Mandimba, Mecanhela and Ngauma and their Malawian counterparts from Mangochi have pledged to solve cross-border challenges, including human trafficking, encroachment and smuggling of goods.
The 18-member delegation from Mozambique arrived in Mangochi on Wednesday for a two-day meeting in the lakeshore district.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Mangochi district commissioner (DC) Raphael Piringu said they initiated the meeting to discuss cross-border challenges affecting the two countries’ border districts.
“The two sides have resolved to strengthen consultation and collaboration on cross-border crimes such as smuggling of goods, human trafficking and encroachment,” he said.
Piringu cited an example of four Malawians who were arrested in June for allegedly cutting down trees on Mozambique’s Mandimba side and are still being held in police custody without trial.
He 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 four Malawians will be extradited to be tried back home.”
Piringu also said the two sides resolved to introduce border pass at their border points for easy identification of their respective citizens on either side.
On his part, Ngauma DC Augusto Luis Assique, who led the Mozambican delegation, said their visit was 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 in custody in Mandimba, Assique said police in Mandimba will “find a way of speeding up the process with the courts”.
When the meeting ended, the hosts escorted the visiting delegation to Chiponde Border and saw them off on their way to their homeland.