Reports reaching FaceofMalawi indicates that heavy armed Police on Sunday and Monday invaded Kanono Village in group village head (GVH) Kanono’s area in Neno, setting ablaze two houses and destroying others in the process.

According to information that FOM has in possession , the police raided the village because people had blocked a railway line to protest the delay by Brazilian mining giant Vale Logistics Limited to honour its promise of constructing a bridge at the railway site where a road was cut.

Speaking in an interview with the Press, Group Village Headman (GVH) Kanono said he Vale promised the villagers a bridge in November last year, but it is yet to honour the pledge.

“In November 2013, the agreement was made between the locals and the company. They told us that construction [of the bridge] would commence in January [2014] since the company needed to buy metals from South Africa. But nothing has been done to this day,” she said.

The GVH said after noting it was taking long without an update, the locals sent a committee to frequently remind Vale about the bridge request.

After several reminders, the locals closed the railway line on September 22, 2014 to press Vale to meet its pledge.

Commenting on the matter Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec) Executive Director Maggie Kathewera Banda said the news is so shocking.

On her part, Southern Region Deputy Police Spokesperson Beatrice Mikuwa expressed denied to comment on the matter.

The police reign of terror comes just a few days after the Ministry of Transport and Public Works published a statement in the press warning people along Kachaso- Nkaya-Nayuchi railway project access sites and work stations to desist from interfering with the construction when they have issues with Vale Logistics and its subcontractor, Mota Engil. This was after the people had blocked the railway line.

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