Bvumbwe Police Re-opened, Commissioner Encouraged Dialogue

Stakeholders called to talk out disagreements Stakeholders called to talk out disagreements - pic by Luka Beston

A fresh appeal has gone out to the police officers and the community members to prioritize dialogue in sorting out their differences as opposed to resorting to violence where police station infrastructure is damaged and, in some instances, life lost.

South West Region Commissioner Richard Luhanga said this on Tuesday when the service re-opened Bvumbwe Police Sub-station in Thyolo which has partially been renovated after irate communities torched it 10 months ago.

The torching of Bvumbwe police station in January this year followed the death of a 19-year-old man after police officers allegedly fired live bullets to disperse an angry crowd which stormed the station to question the death of a suspect in police custody.

"The mistake that happened that time is a learning point to both the communities and the police officers. That's why you heard me urging the communities that if there are differences with the police, let's talk it out and see where we can improve.

"But I have also called on my fellow police officers that they need to improve on the way we do the job so that we can avoid some of these conflicts by just being professional," he said.

Meanwhile, Inkosi Bvumbwe whose subjects ransacked and torched the station has welcomed the police, and acknowledged, without their presence, security had gone down.

"We missed this police station. We had so many criminals who saw a loophole so that they could do their bad things to the citizens. But the comeback of the station, is something that has made everyone happy", Inkosi Bvumbwe said.

Similarly, Thyolo District Commissioner Douglas Moffat said the security lapse compromised socio-economic development in the area, adding that they will ensure that the remaining structures are renovated.

Moffat said: "We are optimistic. The structures are there, they just need small refurbishment through paintings and putting in some window panes and making sure that the security of those houses is intact. So that's a very simple thing that we are going to do."

The police station structures have been renovated using K7 million of Thyolo North Constituency Development Fund (CDF) basket and some support from the surrounding tea estates.

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