The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and Malawi Police Service (MPS) offices have been kicked out at Dedza border post from the Mozambican territory after expiry of a December 31 2017 deadline agreed by the two countries for the offices to relocate.
Dedza district commissioner (DC), Ellis Tembo confirmed the development, saying the sudden relocation of the offices happened a fortnight ago.
Tembo said the relocation follows a meeting which Lilongwe and Maputo had in December last year, where, among other things, they discussed about the boundaries.
MRA and police have been working in the area, across the border in Mozambique, since the formation of Dedza border post in Kalomwe area.
What has been of concern to the Mozambican side was trucks that were cleared found themselves awaiting Malawi customs clearance across the border.
“As of now, [MRA] vehicles have been moved to the Malawi side from Mozambique. And the police guardroom has also moved. MRA have also found a place on the Malawi side,” said Tembo.
Public relations officer for the ministry of Foreign Affairs Rejoice Shumba declined to comment on the matter and referred this reporter to the Ministry Of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
But the ministry’s spokesperson Charles Vintulla said the ministry was only responsible for the boundary reaffirmation exercise, which it jointly carried out with its Mozambican counterpart.
Vintulla said the Dedza stretch was done over four years ago.
However, Vintulla said the shifting the barrier is not a ‘peculiar one’.
“This is a customs matter, which had to be carried out by users of the facilities that are on the wrong side, only that they took time in adhering to the requirement, which was supposed to be in response to the boundary pillars reinforced,” said Vintulla.
He said trucks that are cleared on the Mozambican side and waiting for Malawi customs clearance while still on the Mozambican side have to be moved to the Malawi side.
Commenting on the meeting that was held before the expiry of the December 31 set date, Vintulla said his ministry was only invited to attend as a stakeholder.
Asked why MRA have been still operating in Mozambique when the stretch was done over four years ago, its spokesperson Steven Kapoloma refused to comment.
“MRA is not a competent authority on border demarcation matters. Please liaise with competent government authorities,” he responded.