Chitipa Citizens Foot Down Against MRA Border Staff
Demonstrations which citizens of Chitipa conducted on Friday aimed at forcing government to remove Malawi Revenue Authority MRA officers at Mbirima Border Post where Malawi shares her boundary with Tanzania has ended in massive looting of shops, Zodiak Online can confirm.
The genesis of the violent demonstrations was demand by citizens of Chitipa that the border post be cleared of the MRA staff as an ignition to force government construct a 31 kilometre road stretch from the district central business district to the border post.
The people argue that government has a legal and social obligation to provide social amenities to its citizens including construction of roads.
According to one of the key organisers of the demonstration Dave Msongole the people opted to stop MRA from collecting revenue from them because government has failed people of the district.
"We are not benefiting from the revenue that MRA collects from us. We therefore see no basis to keep on paying text to a government that has failed to provide us with road development service," said Msongole.
During the demonstrations running battles between police and the demonstrators was the main activity.
The two sides exchanged teargas canisters and stones for the greater part of the demonstration.
Unknown criminals took advantage of the chaos to highjack the demonstration and have ended up looting anything they could lay their hands on in shops at the central business district.
Chipiku and Kulima Gold shops have been the worst victims of the burglary where people have made away with bags of cement, bags of fertiliser, tablets of soap and drinks of various kinds are some of the many items people have stolen.
Farmers World shop has not been spared as its iron sheets that were displayed on the veranda have also been share by the gang.
The Malawi Defence Force from Meru military camp and the riot police from Ipiana camp from Karonga had to be called in to help calm the volatile situation.
Business has been at standstill at the Chitipa Central Business District for almost the whole day.
District Concil Chairperson councillor Mercy Mpoha has condemned the looting but has stood by the people's demand on the need to construct the road that has opened a can of worms.