Seven houses have been destroyed in Nkhata Bay District by some people in retaliation to the death of their relative over the weekend.
Nkhata Bay Police spokesperson, Kondwani James, said the deceased, Sophina Kaunda, aged 48, of Chavula Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Fukamapiri in the district, sold a piece of land to Thom James Manda at Dombolo River in 2018.
The two agreed on K600,000 but James paid K250,000.
“Few months later, it was reported that the [piece of] land, belonged to the government, which embarrassed the suspect. He, therefore, wanted the money [K250,000] to be given back to him immediately.
“The suspect thought that the deceased was taking long to give back the cash. He, on November 2 2019, thought of dealing with the woman in a different way. He followed her to a garden while carrying a metal bar. Instead of talking to the deceased, he just hit her hard in the abdomen with the metal bar that she fell down unconscious,” James said.
Relatives reported the matter to Chintheche Police where officers rushed to the scene and took the victim to Chintheche Rural Hospital where she died on arrival.
James said the woman died due to internal bleeding, according to the medical personnel.
The officers arrested the 56 year-old Manda.
As events unfolded, relatives to the deceased mobilised themselves at night and went to the suspect’s village to retaliate.
“In the meantime, seven families have suffered from the revenge as their houses have been burnt and property stolen by the mob,” James said, adding that there is no death recorded in the incident and no one has been arrested.
The development follows a similar incident last month when 22 houses were razed down by fire in a fracas which ensued between people of Msakanene and Mkondezi, T/A Mkumbira in the district.
Four people died in the fracas.
Meanwhile, social commentator, Emily Mkamanga, said the fights between villagers indicate that people have lost trust in the police.
“People just go to police for formality; otherwise, people are handling issues on their own. There is need for mediation and intensive civic education in the district, otherwise these incidences will keep happening,” she said.
Recently, acting Inspector General of Police, Duncan Mwapasa, admitted that the police do not command the trust of some quarters of the public; hence, the law enforcers are devising ways of regaining the lost confidence.