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Police officer ‘dupes’ Bingu National Stadium stampede bereaved families

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A police officer is alleged to have ordered a deduction of a total of K64, 000 from the money the eight families of people who died in the stampede at Bingu National Stadium on Independence Day received.

The families claim that the officer, who they said only introduced himself as Phumisa, told them that the money was for payment of postmortem at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).

Some of the bereaved family members, Alfred Mwale, Isaac Pawulo and Albert Adisi said the police officer claimed he was operating under instructions from officials from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).

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“This police officer told us that each family must pay K8, 000, for a postmortem [on the deceased]. Upon hearing this, as none of us had requested such a service, we were all dumbfounded and did know what to do. Since such a demand sounded more of an order, we had no option but to just comply. We paid the money” Mwale said.

Pawulo, father to the late 10-year-old boy Promise, and Albert Adisi, father to the late13- year-old girl Precious concurred with Mwale.

“We were all summoned at the hospital, and got those instructions from this police officer who received the money. He said each family is liable to pay such an amount for postmortem. But what baffled us most is that no receipt was issued,” Pawulo said.

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National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, confirmed the development but asked for more time to find out what exactly happened.

“I heard that issue but I don’t have all the details as to what exactly happened. Since the victims say the police was operating on instructions from Dodma officials, I will get back to you when I get all the details,” Kadadzera said.

However, Dodma Principal Secretary Chinthu Phiri distanced the directorate from the claims by the police officer.

“We never discussed anything of that nature with the police. The police did that on their own,” he said.

Eight people—including seven children— died while about 60 others were seriously injured during the stampede.

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