Immigration officers at Mchinji Border Post have rescued nine Malawians who were being trafficked to Zambia by two men, Mchinji Immigration spokesperson, Madalitso Banda has confirmed.
He said the nine victims are from Traditional Authority Chiseka in Lilongwe and were persuaded by the suspected traffickers that they will be working at a farm in Zambia.
Banda said the traffickers opted to use an unchartered route at the border and were spotted by Immigration officers who were on patrols and followed them into the bush where they got intercepted.
“Among the rescued victims were a woman and two minors of less than two years.
“The suspected traffickers include a Malawian and Zambian,” Banda said.
Both the suspected traffickers and the victims have been handed over to Mchinji Police Station for further investigations.
Meanwhile, the Rights Advice Centre (RAC) has urged the private sector to help in combating human trafficking in the country.
RAC Programs Manager, Madalitso Masache, made the appeal in Mangochi District at the end of a three day orientation for selected key members of the private sector.
The orientation pulled together representatives from banks, hospitality units, fuel attendants, internet café operators and others.
Masache said more Malawians continue to fall victim to trafficking because a majority of them do not want to take part in reporting and stopping human trafficking, which is largely affecting children and women.
“Human trafficking still remains a problem for Malawi. For instance, some of the trafficked persons are kept in hotels, hence it is important that hotel owners should know how to ask important questions when they see some suspicious things,” he said.
Masache said his organisation, with funding from Norwegian Church Aid, will also engage traditional leaders as a way of making them more informed about forms of human trafficking.
Facilitator of the training, Maxwell Matewere, observed that Malawi remains fertile ground for human trafficking despite having one of the best pieces of legislation in place.
For instance, Matewere said about 140 people were reportedly trafficked last year alone, of which, most of them were exposed by their relatives. He said a total of 38 people were convicted last year after being found guilty of trafficking.