Tight security upon xenophobia victims’ arrival

Written by  Sam Phiri

Security has been tightened at Blantyre social welfare offices where xenophobia victims repatriated by government are to be accommodated upon arrival Monday.

Some of the victims of xenophobia attacks registering at a camp in South Africa Some of the victims of xenophobia attacks registering at a camp in South Africa

The victims were supposed to arrive Sunday from South Africa but failed due to what government spokesperson and minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa called 'logistical hitches'.
“Everything was put in order by government but it’s just that the home affairs department in South Africa opted to start helping Mozambique which had sent 15 buses to get its citizens,” said Nankhumwa.

MBC Online’s visit to the social welfare offices saw heavy presence of law enforcers as well as final preparation touch-ups by social welfare officers and health experts.

According to information sourced over the weekend, the victims travelling in six Malawi government-hired buses will be examined by immigration officials at Mwanza borders while screening by health officers will be done at the transit site near MBC TV offices at Kwacha.

Although Southern region Police spokesperson Beatrice Mikuwa could not be reached for comment, some officers at the site revealed their presence is aimed at stopping illegal businesses from taking place at the site upon the victims’ arrival.

Several people at the centre waiting to buy second-hand items - mainly electronic gadgets - at a cheaper price also confirmed the development.

It has been suggested that the victims arrive at Kamuzu Upper Stadium before going to the transit centre to allow officials properly book them into their respective rooms.

This is the first repatriation exercise while the second phase is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Over 400 Malawians have been affected by the violence in South Africa during the past two weeks.
Meanwhile seven people including two Malawians are feared dead.

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