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Malawians seek compensation from Mozambique government

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By Yohane Symon:

Some families in Traditional Authority Katuli, Mangochi District, have asked the Malawi government to intervene in a matter in which a Mozambican construction company reportedly destroyed their crops last year.

Some of the people we talked to said they wanted the government to ask Mozambican officials to compensate them for loss of income in the past faming season.

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Mangochi District Commissioner (DC), Moses Chimphepo, confirmed that his office visited the affected area to assess the damage the people are claiming.

Speaking on behalf of the affected families, Village Head Litemwe said affected families were shocked to see excavators clearing their fields to mine sand for construction of a road across the border.

“When we approached company officials, they offered us some money but we could not receive the money knowing that the issue could best be handled by the government considering that the Mozambicans are the ones that are not respecting our boundaries,” he said.

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He said they were waiting for a response from the DC.

“But, as I am speaking, the company is still collecting stones from our maize fields and, when we ask them to stop, they say they have an agreement with the Malawi Government,” said one of the affected persons, Anthony Saidi.

But Chimphepo, while confirming that he was approached by affected people, said his office was waiting for direction from the ministries of Land and Foreign Affairs.

“This is an international relations matter which is handled at ministry level. We are waiting for direction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Actually, we were with ministry officials when we went to assess the situation at Katuli,” he said.

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