By Easter Khunga, MANA
Police in Mzuzu have advised filling stations and service centre owners to consult the law enforcers before recruiting workers.
Speaking to representatives of different filling stations and service centres Friday, station officer for Mzuzu Police Station, Almakio Daka, also advised against congestion in filling stations and service centres.
The development comes after Lunyangwa Filling Station and Service Centre in Mzuzu was robbed last month and a few days later two men were shot dead in Mzuzu amid speculation that they were among the robbers that robbed a filling station in Nkhata Bay of K20Million.
“There is need for filling station owners to do a background check with the police before recruiting a new staff, including security guards.
“As police, we normally keep records of criminals, so before employing any staff you need to check with us if the person you are employing has clean record, to reduce these crimes,” said Daka.
He further urged staff at filling stations to keep police phone numbers so that crimes are reported on time.
In his reaction, the Manager for Katoto Filling Station (popularly known as pa Harry), Edgar Zimba said it has proven difficult for them to control vendors that have no stable place to sell their products.
Zimba also said the city council has been notified of the congestion at the place which he said threatens security and disrupts business.
“We notified the Mzuzu City Council of the congestion and they have promised to handle it accordingly which is a relief to us because as of now business is being affected by vendors who invade our premises,” said Zimba.
In his remarks, Detective Sergeant Nyahoda Nyahoda said it is very important for crime scene to be protected by the people who were around at the time the crimes are being committed.
“We urge people who were around at the moment of the crime not to touch anything but rather report to police first so that fingerprints are taken by them.
“As police we will form some structures to help bring back sanity around the stations so that crimes are prevented,” said Nyahoda.
When contacted Mzuzu City Council public relations officer, MacDonald Gondwe said the vendors including motorbike and motorcycle taxi operators were asked to move out of the place to a designated place, but they ignored the call.
He said the council is planning to formulate an association for the business operators which would play a role in instilling order.
Police is yet to divulge more details about the suspected two robbers shot last week in Mzuzu but the security tip might suggest one of them worked for a filling station before.