Traditional leaders and the Karonga-Chitipa Heritage have agreed to seek a court injunction against the relocation of refugee camp from Dzaleka Refugee Camp to Katili area in Karonga district.
The chiefs together with the Area Development Committee, Councillors and law maker for the area Frank Mwenefumbo, over the weekend penned the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately stop the project.
Speaking to the media after their meetings, Karonga-Chitipa Heritage Chairperson Afraid Mwambira said they will present the traditional leaders, MP, councillors and Area Development Committee’s decision on the matter to the Home Affairs Ministry this week.
“We have finalized our meetings with traditional leaders here in Karonga and I can confirm that over hundreds of them have vowed to deal with it,” said Mwambira.
Secretary for Karonga-Chitipa Heritage Wantwa Mwahimba while concurring with Mwambira wondered how the Paramount Chief Kyungu could tell the government that people and traditional leaders in the district welcome the refugee camp.
“Kyungu is a liar, if indeed the traditional leaders and people in the district are not against the relocation of the camp they would have not penned the Home Affairs Ministry,” Mwahimba said.
He accused the Kyungu and people who support the camp for being betrayers and selfish.
Mwenefumbo warned that he would use his financial means to block the project legally.
According to him, the distribution of the land to the UNHCR by the Government and Paramount Chief Kyungu was illegal.
“The current Land Act does not allow the chiefs to distribute the land to anyone on their own,” said Mwenefumbo.
He said Karonga has no capacity to keep 29 thousands people because it is already overpopulated.
Mwenefumbo schooled a group of people who claimed that the camp will bring developmental change at Katili when relocated that the UNHCR does not bring developments but that it is the mandate of UNDP.
He also said that the Kyungu and Minister Chiumia are deceiving the country’s President that everything is fine on the ground while it is not.
“President Peter Mutharika cannot impose things to his people, if he had known the truth about this issue, he would have ordered the minister to stop it,” he said.
However, the Kyungu and the committee that went to inspect Dzaleka refugee camp says government should go ahead.
Minister of Home Affairs Grace Obama Chiumia said her ministry will not stop the project because all the chiefs and people who they consulted, welcome it.