36 returnees netted for Mapanga vandalism

Richard Chimwendo Banda

Police have arrested 36 South Africa returnees who ran rampage at Mapanga Covid-19 isolation Centre in Blantyre on Sunday.

Homeland Security Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda disclosed this when he inspected the facility Monday.

The irate returnees torched their hostel and an office block to force those looking after them at Mapanga Prison Training College to give back their passports and immediately release them from quarantine.


“These are suspected criminals and will be treated as suspected criminals. After they get done with the Covid-19 tests, they will answer the charge pressed on them. We are not releasing them until they face the long arm of the law.

“This is not what we expected from people whose travel we facilitated. They have destroyed property which would have been assisting them, their colleagues and also prospective prison warders who are trained here,” he said.

Chimwendo Banda said the government would not back down on its plans to be keeping in quarantine all the returnees coming from South Africa and other countries.


“They are well informed that they will need to be quarantined upon arrival here in Malawi. They agreed and we wonder why they did this. I want to make this clear that whoever is coming should be ready for this [quarantine]. If they are not ready for this, they should not come here,” he said.

During the visit, The Daily Times found the remaining ones being tested for coronavirus. Those that tested negative for the virus were being cleared to leave using designated government vehicles.

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