There is fear and suspicion among the civil society in the country following the death of Binwell Mtambo, uncle to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo, after being hit by a police vehicle Thursday night.
The senior Mtambo was run over by a police vehicle registration number MP 1999 near Meru Filling Station around 19:00 hours, Chitipa Police spokesperson Gladwell Simwaka confirmed in a telephone interview.
He said the vehicle, which was being driven by Amos Mkandawire, was coming from Lufita heading towards Chitipa Boma.
“It is true that one of our vehicles hit a cyclist known as Binwell Mtambo who died on the spot. The body was taken to Chitipa District Hospital. The driver has been detained as we continue investigations into what caused the accident,” Simwaka said.
Malawi Police Service, according to Simwaka, has committed to assisting the bereaved family with funeral arrangements as burial is scheduled for today at the deceased’s home village of Namasasa in Traditional Authority Mwaulambia.
“Hospital authorities said he died of head injuries,” he said.
Commenting on the accident and subsequent death of Mtambo, HRDC Chairperson for Chitipa Sydney Simwaka called for prompt investigations into the accident saying the death is bound to raise suspicions among Malawians.
“We still take it that it was an accident; however, it’s alleged that the police vehicle that was involved had no lights or the lights were very dim, we are yet to confirm. However, death of any person is regrettable,” Simwaka said.
Timothy could not be reached on his mobile phone for comment as he was reportedly travelling to the funeral but he confirmed in a post on HRDC WhatsApp group that the deceased was a younger brother to his father.
“It is true my uncle is no more. According to one of the eye-witnesses, the police vehicle passed him and returned and hit him. We are still investigating,” he wrote.
This comes at a time when Timothy together with Gift Trapence, Happy Mhango in the North and Masauko Thawe in the Southern Region has been organising protests pushing for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah.