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Police hunt for AGM thugs

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Police in Mangochi are hunting for three people suspected to have assaulted Civil Sporting Club General Secretary, Ronald Chiwaula, and his Be Forward Wanderers’ counterpart, Mike Butao, in Mangochi District early last month.

The suspects beat up Butao and Chiwaula as they tried to enter Pamadzi Lodge in the district to attend the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) Annual General Meeting (AGM).

It transpired that Sulom did not hire police to provide security at the AGM, raising speculation that some of the league’s officials might have hired the men to deal with club officials who were linked to an abortive plot to oust Sulom’s Executive Committee.

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Mangochi Police spokesperson, Rodrick Maida, Sunday confirmed that they were on the hunt for the three suspects.

“It is true that the victims lodged a complaint and we are hunting for the suspects,” Maida said.

Police have opened the investigations after Butao and Chiwaula lodged a complaint to Koche Police Unit in Mangochi after the incident.

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Daily Times has sourced the names of the suspects but there was no immediate confirmation from the police on their actual identities. It is believed that some of the suspects are based in Lilongwe.

“We are in contact with our Lilongwe counterparts to arrest the suspects,” said a source from Koche.

The attackers also targeted Nyasa Big Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, but he stayed away from the meeting after being warned.

Sulom apologised to the clubs for the scuffle but the clubs felt the apology was half-hearted.

In the runup to the last Blantyre derby, Bullets and Wanderers wrote a joint letter, warning Sulom and Football Association of Malawi officials that their security was not guaranteed during the match at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

During the meeting, Sulom President, Innocent Bottoman, had yielded to Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire’s demand to issue an immediate apology before deliberations continued.

“Sulom would like to remind soccer-loving Malawians that every person is entitled to his/her opinion and if people are having different views, intimidation and harassment is not a solution.

“As Sulom, we condemn the acts and would like to assure the clubs and all stakeholders of a non-reoccurrence of the same as officials and players security will not be compromised at any Sulom organised activity going forward. We sincerely apologise to the club officials and we will get to the root of what inspired the club supporters to act the way they did on the said officials,” Bottoman said as he tried to calm the tensed up delegates.

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