Central West Region Police Commissioner Peter Chasweka has urged scrap metal dealers to coordinate efforts in the fight against theft and vandalism of critical infrastructure.
He said this on Tuesday in Lilongwe during a meeting which drew various stakeholders, including the Scrap Metal Dealers Association, Lilongwe City Council, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), Lilongwe Water Board, Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), Malangalanga Landlords and police detectives from urban stations.
Chasweka said the fight against vandalism of valuable materials such as copper wire, transformers and railway lines can be won if all players, including the metal dealers themselves, are involved; hence the meeting.
He said: “Scrap metal dealers complained that they have been accused by Escom, MTL and other players that they were buying stolen materials from their institutions.
“So, we have established a task force committee to sensitise people, inspect scrap metals and tell people what to buy or not.”
Central Region Scrap Metal Dealers Association chairperson Patrick Jonathan said they are tired of being accused of promoting theft of their property.
“We do a legitimate business and we will report to the police anyone found stealing and vandalising infrastructure,” he said.
Central West Region Police Executive Committee chairperson Alex Chapondera said the meeting was a big step in the fight against theft and vandalism of critical infrastructure.