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Mob burns police unit, loots shops

UP IN FLAMES—Some of the damaged property—Picture by Patience Lunda


There were two separate running battles between the police and some irate residents of Nkhamenya and Mtambalala villages in Kasungu District yesterday.

Kasungu Police spokesperson, Harry Namwaza, said the first incident occurred after a 5-year-old girl, who went mission on December 16, was found dead during the wee hours of yesterday near a house of a Burundian with dog bites.

The residents concluded that the girl was bitten by a dog belonging to the Burundian and invaded all grocery shops for Burundians and few others for Malawians and looted property including that of Kasungu Municipality.

“The police tried their best to chase the angry mob and investigations are underway to arrest all suspects involved in this,” Namwaza said.

The other fracas started at around 10 o’clock in the morning when another angry mob went to Nkhamenya Police Unit to demand the release of a suspected thief who, before his arrest, was allegedly terrorising the area.

The mob, armed with catapults, stones and panga knives, accused the police of delaying the wheels of progress on the matter.

Commotion erupted after the police turned down the demand.

The mob burnt down the police unit, three police motor vehicles, guns and ammunitions.

“They further went to destroy Nkhamenya roadblock and police houses but were stopped faster before more damage was caused. We have also instituted an investigation to arrest suspects,” Namwaza said.

Later, in the afternoon Malawi Defence Force soldiers were deployed to quell the commotion.

The incident is the latest in a series of mob justice cases which experts attribute to general lawless due to loss of trust in the police’s professionalism when handling cases of crime and frustrations with general social ills.

Similar mob attacks have taken place in Nkhata Bay, Ntcheu, Blantyre, Neno and Lilongwe costing lives of over 80 people and loss of property.

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