The Police in Mangochi have given the general public three months to surrender their unlicensed guns and those who voluntarily do so will not be prosecuted.
The law enforcers are also urging all people who have unlicensed firearms to seek guidance from the police on how they can have their weapons licensed by government.
According to Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police Elijah Kachikuwo, the call has been made following an increase in cases of armed robbery. The Police believe the armed robberies have been fuelled by the influx of unlicensed guns in the district.
Kachikuwo was speaking on Wednesday on the sidelines of an interface meeting between the law enforcers and communities within Namwera, following a fracas which ensued between the police and the communities, which resulted in communities damaging police offices.
He revealed that in the past two months, the Police in the district have managed to recover and confiscate five guns from people who among other things were using the arms in armed robberies.
“We are very concerned with an increase in the availability of unlicensed guns. Some of the guns are the ones which some parents left to their children when they passed on. Unfortunately some of these guns are being used for wrong reasons,” said Kachikuwo.
He added: “We have also noted that Mangochi being a border district is also flooded with guns from neighbouring Mozambique. However we are in contact with police from that country and our relationship is cordial such that we will collaborate to make sure that cross border crimes including smuggling of fire arms is checked”.
Kachikuwo, who is also Officer in Charge for Mangochi, further advised the people to desist from damaging police offices as well as assaulting Police officers explaining that they cannot operate without the support of the citizen.
“Nobody is this country is above the law, so if you discover that a police officer is involved in corruption or any other malpractice, you must report that to authorities or any other civil society organisation who will in turn make arrangements to have that officer brought to book,” he said.
Senior Chief Jasali thanked the law enforcers for facilitating a meeting between police and the community saying such meetings will help prevent crime within the communities.
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