Friends of Makhanga Pen Nsanje DC over Relocation
A group calling itself concerned friends of Makhanga has petitioned Nsanje District Commissioner quizzing the government for allegedly forcing people in the area to relocate upland.
In a copy of a petition in our possession signed by 12 people the concerned Makhanga citizens have described the whole process as unprocedural.
They have cited the government's alleged failure to provide food and shelter.
“We expected the government to explain that the exercise had started and how it would be carried out only to see a health centre and schools being closed when the majority of people have yet to relocate.
“We fear for the safety of girls who are taking care of themselves because their parents are here. They are at risk of pregnancies and diseases,” lamented Duncan.
He further alleged that “the government is infringing on our rights. We expected it to address the factors that have resulted in the area being flood prone as opposed to forcing us to relocate. It should have constructed a dyke.
“The expectation also was that we would be using Makhanga for agricultural activities. We could be using the land that has been identified for evacuation when disasters hit us,” said Duncan.
There has been no immediate comment from Nsanje District Commissioner, Dominic Mwandira on the matter but Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, earlier told us the people of Makhanga are relocating at their own will.
Kalemba said the government is providing social amenities in the areas designated for relocation.
Nsanje North legislator, Enock Chizuzu, has snubbed the grouping claiming it is twisting relocation issues.
Chizuzu says the government has followed all relevant procedures in handling the exercise.
"I am just fulfilling whatever the traditional leaders agreed when President Lazarus Chakwera visited the area during cyclone Freddy disaster.
According to the Nsanje north parliamentarian, “Senior Chief Mlolo found a good place at GVH Mgonera located at hilly place.”