Two Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) officials drowned on Friday after they slipped off and fell into a waterfall while hiking part of Mulanje Mountain.
In a telephone interview yesterday, MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma, said the two officials were part of a team which went to review their Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), which is used for clearing goods in customs.
Kapoloma identified the two officers as ICT officer Martin Jerenje and Abel Nyondo, a driver in MRA’s administration division.
Said Kapoloma: “It is with great grief and emotional distress that, indeed, management announces the tragic death of the two members of staff.
“The two were part of a team reviewing the said system in Mulanje. They slipped off and fell into a river while climbing a mountain.”
According to Kapoloma, burial for the duo is expected to take place today in Balaka and Chitipa respectively.
In a separate interview, Mulanje Police Station spokesperson Gersham Ngwira, said the two were putting up at one of the upmarket lodges at the Boma, before they decided to go for a hike. Said Ngwira: “The two came to Mulanje with colleagues on 11 December for official duties. On their way up
one got tired and relaxed as the other two (now deceased) proceeded hiking.
“When they arrived at the waterfall in one of the rivers on the mountain, they took off their clothes to swim. However, due to a slippery terrain, they both slipped and fell into the waterfalls lying about 50 metres deep.”
Ngwira said police visited the scene and took the bodies to Mulanje District Hospital where postmortem revealed that death was due to head injuries.
Ngwira further urged people to exercise caution when hiking up the mountain to avoid further occurrences especially during this rainy season.