Villagers Fight CPL; Block Road
Police in Mangochi have arrested eight men for blocking the Makawa-Njereza road with an intention of restricting plants and vehicles from Cement Products Limited who use the same road from moving in and out of the factory.
Mangochi Police Station Spokesperson, Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, said the suspects all from Group Village Headman Kela, in the area of Traditional Authority Mponda in the district who have since been charged with conduct like to cause a breach of peace, on Monday blocked the earth road using tree branches.
According to Tepani Daudi, the villagers have been complaining about dust produced by trucks, ESCOM lines that go to the factory which passes in their fields and extension of the road during grading, which is mostly done by the company.
“According to the owner of the factory, Akbar Aslam Gaffar, on August 16, 2021, a team led by Group Village Headman Kela's son, Itendo Kazembe, 32, fetched trees and blocked the road, consequently halting the company’s business for five hours and also to other road users,” explained Tepani Daudi.
“Matter was reported and our officers rushed to the scene, cleared the road and arrested the suspects who will appear before court to answer the charge of conduct like to cause a breach of peace which contravenes Section 181 of the Penal Code,” she added.
According to her, this is the third time villagers have blocked the road, and in June this year they also petitioned the District Commissioner’s office on the same, demanding some unspecified compensation from the company.
“Their grievances were addressed and were told to stay away from the site that produces cement,” said Tepani Daudi.