Residents battle police in Manje Township
Irate residents of Manje in Blantyre Monday clashed with police over issues bordering on criminality, with the residents accusing police of doing little to apprehend people who have been terrorising the area.
Among other things, residents were engaged in running battles with police, barely five days after a resident of the township, Paul Tambala, was injured and robbed off money amounting to about K150, 000, cellphones and other valuables.
One of the residents, Emmanuel Jamu, said four suspects were arrested by neighbourhood watch, a security committee in the area, on Sunday evening.
But, he said, as they were waiting for police to come and take the suspects into custody, some irate members invaded the premises with the intention of manhandling the suspects.
Reports indicate that about eight police officers were initially deployed to calm the situation but were chased from the scene.
“In no time, we saw police officers in their gear while others were in civilian clothes. They came in three police vehicles. Immediately, angry residents started pelting stones at the officers who, in turn, threw teargas canisters at the residents. The people lined stones along the road all the way to Soche Police [Sub-Station] with the aim of obstructing the movement of the law enforcers,” Jamu said.
Other concerned residents The Daily Times talked to said there has been a spate of incidences in recent months, and that about three people have been killed but no suspect has been arrested.
“We have also had cases where, when a suspect is arrested, even if there is evidence, he comes out clean from police. Or, if the case goes to court, no one knows how the cases end. We just see the suspects moving around in the community,” said Luziveti Kalumbu, a relative of the injured resident (Paul Tambala).
Southern Region Police spokesperson, Ramsy Mushani, confirmed the development but said the situation was under control.
“The situation is calm but there was, indeed, commotion,” he simply said.
Meanwhile, there is calm in the area while the suspects are being held at Soche Police Sub-Station.
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