Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has said the removal of police roadblocks in Karonga District by angry anti-Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) demonstrators last Tuesday is a threat to the country’s security.
Speaking in an interview, the minister said a lot is happening in Africa that needs close monitoring.
“Therefore, we need checkpoints to scrutinise who are entering.
“It is unfortunate that people resorted to removing the roadblocks,” he said.
Karonga North legislator Mungasulwa Mwambande, who donated shelters at Iponga and Rukuru roadblocks, described the situation as sad, saying he personally initiated the establishment of Rukuru Roadblock after noting that most businesspeople were losing their property and lives due to increased cases of robbery, child trafficking and entry of illegal immigrants.
“The aggrieved party should have opted for dialogue instead of vandalising the facilities,” he said.
However, Karonga Market chairperson Goodwin Ghambi alleged that corrupt practices by some police officers manning the roadblocks forced protesters to remove them.
“We have not removed all roadblocks in the district. All we want is sanity in the way some of police officers discharge their duties,” he claimed.
Karonga Police Station officer in-charge Sam Nkhwazi described Ghambi’s assertions as mere allegations, saying no businessperson has ever lodged any complaint against his officers’ alleged corrupt practices.
“That is just his defensive response. Officers go there to provide security. So, if anything, they would have reported that to my office for action,” he said.
Some business people in Karonga on Tuesday last week torched and removed five roadblocks of Iponga, Rukuru Police and MRA, Mpata and Matema, saying the district had too many roadblocks that were impeding the growth of small-scale businesses due to alleged MRA and police officers’ corrupt practices.