By Samuel Kalimira
Two families from Enyizini area in Mzimba have written Office of Attorney General (AG) and Malawi Police Source (MPS) demanding K450 million compensation for alleged police negligence.
The families are of Linda and Maria Mvula and Penjani and Mable Chisi who claim their houses and property were burnt by angry villagers.
In the letter dated October 5 and signed by their lawyer Christon Ghambi, the families claim they informed police at Enyizini, Ekwendeni and Mzuzu police stations that villages were planning to set their houses on fire because they were granted bail after communities were suspecting them of practising witchcraft.
The families said police did not come to villages to calm the situation despite being informed about the locals’ plan to set their houses and property on fire.
“Village members of Enyizini gathered at the house of Group Village Head Wilson Moyo to plan to burn the houses and the property of the two families. Our client reported the matter to police at Enyizini but they were not assisted. Later, they reported at Ekwendeni Police Unit who referred the matter to Mzuzu Police Station but still police did not show up in time,” reads part of the letter.
Ghambi confirmed writing the AG and MPS, saying police failed their duty and they deserve prosecution.
“Police were informed about the planned incident a day before. Even in the morning during the day of the incident, police were informed.
“The families even went in person to Mzuzu Police Station to inform them about what was happening but police went to the scene hours after the incident. We feel this is negligence and the compensation demanded is equal to the damage,” Ghambi said.
Efforts to speak to AG Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered after several attempts.
National Police Public Relations Officer James Kadadzera asked for more time to consult before responding to the matter.
Among other property burnt were vehicles, furniture and maize.
According to Witchcraft Act, it is a crime to call somebody a witch or calling a witchdoctor to condemn witches in a village.