Malawi security agencies launched joint patrol operations on Lake Malawi on Friday in Nkhata Bay District, to curb illegal immigration in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was the first time for the three security agencies, Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the Immigration Department to have come together to patrol the lake.
Speaking during the launch, Lieutenant Colonel Kelvin Soko of MDF said the exercise is important as Lake Malawi is porous. The lake borders Malawi with Tanzania and Mozambique.
“Once we have come across a vessel we will be intercepting it and necessary security procedures will be carried out. When we come across immigrants, that will be the job of the Immigration Department to check if they have proper documents. If there is need for an arrest then the police comes in,” he said.
The men in uniform will be using the warships of the MDF marine department in the exercise.
The operation is part of the many initiatives government agencies are putting up to stop further spread of the coronavirus.
On his part, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, Cosmas Kamwana, said joining forces has made work easier because they are all working as security agencies.
Meanwhile Immigration officials at Songwe boarder in Karonga District have detained at least 84 people who were coming into the country using uncharted routes since the partial closure of borders by the government.
Since Malawi recorded its first Covid-19 case early April this year the country has registered 39 cases, three deaths and nine recoveries.