By: Aminah Tepani Daudi

The Republic of Mozambique has assured Malawian international truck drivers that it will end the practices of brutality, bribery, and unfair treatment by its security agencies to maintain the co-existing relationship between the two nations.

The assurance was made during a three-day joint technical meeting between Malawi and Mozambique, which took place on February 2-4, 2024, at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.

The Malawi Consul General in Tete, Mr. Happy Jonathan Saka, expressed great concern over the recent incident that took place at Zobue, where a Malawian truck driver, Mr. Elaston Ngonyani, was assaulted mercilessly by Mozambican Border Police and is now incapacitated and unable to work.

Speaking to the same gathering, the Vice President for the Union of Malawi Truck Drivers highlighted some of the malpractices carried out on the Mozambique transport corridors, including police brutality, overcharging of fines, and Malawians being held and tortured in Mozambican jails for prolonged periods due to petty irregularities without informing the office of the Malawian Embassy.

The leader of the Mozambican delegation, Mr. Almando Chavana, Director for the National Institute for Sea and Land Boundaries, expressed his deepest regrets about the incident. Chavana revealed that the concerned officers have been suspended from duties to pave the way for investigations instituted by authorities.

However, both countries noted issues of human trafficking, smuggling, and irregular migration that need to be taken seriously. They agreed to sensitize truck drivers and other road users about the dangers of such malpractices and to encourage them to carry passengers with legal travel documents.

Meanwhile, the two countries have agreed to exchange regular and timely specimens of all travel documents, an updated list of road traffic offenses and penalties, Mozambican authorities to conduct awareness sensitization to police officers and other relevant agencies on how to handle international drivers and travelers and the JRMG should meet in Tete in the next 15 days to further discuss issues affecting road transportation along the transport corridors.

The two countries also discussed issues regarding the situation at Makanjira in Mangochi and the treatment of goods transiting through Mozambique.

Mr. Benard Sande, Principal Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malawian leader of the delegation), Ms. Wezzie Moyo, High Commissioner of Malawi to Mozambique, Mr. Davie Chilonga, PS Ministry of Lands, Mr. Oliver Kumbambe, PS Ministry of Homeland Security, Mr. Chizaso Nyirongo, Director of Legal Services OPC, Mrs. Barbra Mchenga Tsiga, Commissionerof Police, Research and Planning, and Ms. Violet Magwaya, Commissioner of Police for the Eastern Region, are some of the prominent people who attended the meeting.

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