Grace Chiumia
Minister Chiumia and her team tried to convince the community but to no avail

KARONGA: Irate residents of Karonga the northern part of Malawi on Monday rebuffed their government plans to relocate the Zaleka refugee camp from Dowa to Katili area in the district.

The Karonga community led by an organization called Karonga-Chitipa Heritage denied this at the presence of the minister of Home Affairs Grace Chiumia during a nine hours long meeting.

The community is concerned with issues that arise from hosting so many refugees who have no prospects for jobs and means of supporting themselves.

“Relocating the Zaleka refugees camp to our district will jeopardize the security. This is because some of the refugees are terrorist, ex-soldiers or rebels,” said Wantwa Mwahimba, the group secretary.

Mwahimba questioned government about the criteria it used to select Karonga out of 28 districts in the country.

Karonga central constituency law maker Frank Mwenefumbo wondered why government failed to consult them area before everything.

He said the district is already affected by high population hence adding another 28, 000 group of people will worsen things.

Chiumia and her team tried to convince the community but to no avail.

Paramount Chief Kyungu who was supporting the idea decided to ease the minister saying ” what you (government) can do is to take some people here to Uganda refugees camp to see themselves the important of having a camp.”

The community then asked the minister to identify another district.

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