By Tiyese Monjeza:
A 16-year-old boy is battling for his life at Zomba Central Hospital after he was allegedly shot on 11 March by Forestry officers in Machinga District.
The victim’s uncle, George Nyati said the boy met his fate when he escorting founds to a forest reserve to ferry charcoal.
Officials at Zomba Central Hospital referred us to Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango, who confirmed that the hospital is treating the boy.
According to Nyati, well-wishers carried the victim to Machinga District Hospital where medical personnel referred him to Zomba Central Hospital.
“My nephew and his colleagues went to the forest and that is where they met officials from Machinga Forest Department who started chasing the boys. They fired a bullet which hit my nephew’s neck. Doctors have confided in us that they may not be able to remove the bullet from his body,” he said.
Nyati has since called for government’s intervention to ensure the victim is given proper medical treatment, saying the family does not have resources to transfer him to another hospital.
Machinga District Council Public Relations Officer, Patrick Ndawala, said the Forestry Department is not aware of the incident as they are yet to be served with a police report on the same.
“We are just hearing from other quarters that the incident happened almost three weeks ago and we are surprised that after all this time, the District Forestry Department is yet to be served with a police report. Even the family has not yet notified the District Council. However, we will take proper action if we find out that what is being said is true,” Ndawala said.
Eastern Region Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Sauka, said Machinga Police Station has received a complaint about an alleged accidental shooting and that investigations on the matter have been launched.