At 21-years-old, fate made Sambani Kanjere a parent of eight siblings following the death of their parents in a road accident a year ago. Wearing big shoes his parents left, another accident befell on his family Tuesday this week.
He is one of the victims whose houses were razed down by fire in a fracas which ensued between people of his area Msakanene and Mkondezi of Traditional Authority Mkumbira in Nkhata Bay District.
Sambani’s house was the second to be torched in the process destroying property such as furniture, clothes and a bicycle as well all the food they had.
“I was in the fields when we heard shouts that our houses were being torched. I rushed but it was all gone. Nothing is left for me and my siblings. Food, our bicycle, and the only clothes left are the ones I am wearing,” he said, shaking with grief.
He said six of his siblings are in school and that with the predicament, they have to leave school until he finds a way out.
In the meantime, the fracas has resulted into loss of 22 houses in Msakanene and the death of at least four people from Mkondezi area.
Devastated, sombre, hungry and grief stricken faces could best describe the people of the two areas when The Daily Times visited the places which are about 20 kilometres apart.
One of the residents, Daniel Phiri said people from Msakanene still fear a reccurrence of the incidence.
According to Nkhata Bay Police spokesperson, Kondwani James, three people have been arrested in connection with the death of the first casualty—Gift Mugha—who died on Monday.
The three are Mabvuto Moyo, 31, Kelvin Mhone, 37 and Enock Moyo, 23. The other three who have died are Gita Saka, Penjani Magombo and Corby Mwaungulu.
According to James, on Monday people from Msakanene went to Mkondezi to hunt for a suspected thief.
The people landed into a wrong suspect and people from Mkondezi ganged up to chase away the group from Msakanene.
“A fight ensued and one from Mkondezi died upon reaching Nkhata Bay District Hospital,” he said.
In reiteration a group from Mkondezi went to Msakanene on Tuesday where 22 houses were torched.
Meanwhile, Vice-President, Everton Chimulirenji, who visited the place yesterday said he is saddened by the incident but called on people in the two areas to use peaceful means whenever there are disagreements.
The government has since provided coffins and K150,000 to each of the four bereaved families.
Chimulirenji also gave K500,000 to the 22 families whose houses were destroyed.
“A team from Lilongwe is coming to assess the damage here [at Msakanene] and everything will be provided to the people,” he said.
In similar acts of violence, some irate villagers from Mambo Village, Traditional Authority Lulanga in Mangochi on Tuesday torched four fishing boats in reaction to the death of a 20-year-old man who, the villagers claim drowned in suspicious circumstances.
Mangochi Police Publicist Roderick Maida confirmed the incident. .
Maida said currently the law enforcers have launched a man hunt for about 14 people who are believed to have been the ring leaders in the arson.—Additional reporting by Yohane Symon