Amidst reports of theft of relief foodstuffs meant for Tropical Cyclone Freddy victims, President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has warned that his government will unleash law enforcement agents to deal with the culprits.
Chakwera issued the warning in his daily evening updates on Friday evening.
Following his appeal to local and international organizations to support Malawi efforts to care for the victims, various governments and organisations have been donating food and non-food materials to the Malawi Government.
However, reports indicate that some unscrupulous people have been stealing the materials.
The revelation has shocked President Chakwera who has worked tirelessly to ensure the victims have enough to eat whilst in the camps.
The Malawi Head of State said it was unfortunate to hear rumours that some people were mouth watering for the relief items especially in Blantyre.
“This is why I am appealing to all of you who are able to help to adopt a camp and commit your support in accordance with the needs of that camp, and we will produce a comprehensive report of everything that you donate to DoDMA so that you know how it was used. I will jealously protect your generous donations from abuse, because I know how desperately these supplies are needed. In fact, even for other non-state actors who are raising money and supplies for those in need, my Government will require them to submit reports of their usage of those resources to DoDMA so that there is accountability across the board for the use of these resources by all those who are using the resources on the ground.
Minister of Homeland Security Dr Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma echoed Chakwera’s warning, adding that the law will take its course on people who are stealing relief items meant to support Tropical Cyclone Freddy survivors in various evacuation camps in some districts in Southern Malawi.
Ng’oma made the remarks when he led a delegation comprising Education Minister Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima, Deputy minister of Local Government Owen Chomanika and other senior government officials to donate over 2400 bags of maize to Cyclone Freddy survivors at camps in Thyolo district.
Ng’oma and his team visited Nansato and Thangadzuwa Primary School camps in the district.
According to Ng’oma, some people are taking advantage to steal relief items meant for the victims of the cyclone Freddy, saying the behavior is dentrimental to the country’s development.
The minister warned that the law will take its course on any one involved in the malpractice.
He said: “Those of you who are planning to steal relief items for the survivors of the Cyclone, I will catch you. You better stop your evil plans because you will see the long arm of the law.”
On his part, Deputy Minister of Local Government Owen Chomanika advised the affected people to take good care of the relief items.
Chomanika stressed that government is doing its best to help all the people affected by the cyclone.
Member of Parliament for Thyolo Central Constituency, Ben Phiri thanked government for the support.
Additionally, Phiri suggested that there is need for government to decentalize disaster response for quick response once people are hit by the disasters, considering that at the moment the response takes abit long.
Meanwhile, Thyolo District Commisioner Rosemary Nawatcha has revealed that the district has registered over 3000 survivors with 13 reported dead.
She has since appealed for more support from non-governmental organizations and well-wishers.