Mozambique repatriates 13 Malawian children
Malawi government last week successfully negotiated with their Mozambican counterparts on the repatriation of 13 Malawian children who were detained at Moatize in Mozambique.
Minister of Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati on Friday said the process was a tough one, attributing the success on the matter to the involvement of Mozambique High Commissioner to Malawi.
“Her Excellency High Commissioner of Mozambique to Malawi is the one who facilitated the process of bringing the children back to Malawi. Initially, Mwanza District Commissioner and Police Officer-In-Charge of the district went there but they were sent back.
“But with the assistance of the High Commissioner, we have been able to bring back the children. They were handed over to Malawi Government on Thursday,” Kaliati said.
She said currently the children are receiving counselling at Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco).
“They look traumatised and they need to be counselled. They are currently at Yoneco in Zomba, where they are being counselled before they go back to school,” Kaliati said.
She said government will investigate the matter further.
“We would like to get to the bottom of the matter. They cannot all be related to each other. Something fishy took place an we would like to trace this and the law will take its course. We would like to warn parents that they cannot cheat government. We have ears and eyes on the ground,” Kaliati said.
The 13 children come from Makwinja Village, Traditional Authority Chikowi in Zomba.
The children, whose ages range from six to 20 were detained by police in Moatize and Tete districts of Mozambique on suspicion that a Zimbabwean national, only identified as Blessings, had trafficked them on the pretext that he would organise a Christmas party for them.
The children are said to have left Zomba on December 22 and passed through Tsangano to Mozambique.
The suspect, who is married to Evelyn Kasiya from the children’s village, was detained at Tete Prison, and is expected to answer a charge of child trafficking.
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