Calm returns to Lizulu after morning of riots

Malawi Police riot vehicle

Calm has returned to Lizulu Trading Centre following a Sunday morning of violence aimed at Burundians and other foreigners on the Mozambican side of the popular market.

Lizulu lies on the border, with the M1 road dividing Malawi and Mozambique and splitting the market.

Riot Police quelled the riots (Library Photo)

On the Mozambican side, villagers went on rampage as they demolished houses and shops belonging to Burundians and other foreigners after accusing them of killing a Mozambican woman.

According to Ntcheu Police spokesperson Hasting Chigalu, the law enforcers from Malawi and Mozambique have managed to end the violence which spread to the Malawian side.

“Rioters broke shops of Burundians and looted items. The riots started on the Mozambican side but we have managed to stop it. Our colleagues from Mozambique also came to bring calm,” he said.

He added that in a bid to quell the riots the police shot one person who is currently admitted to Dedza District Hospital.

Meanwhile, the law enforcers have begun investigating the issue in order to arrest rioters.

According to reports, the violence today was a result of the killing of a woman in the Mozambican village of Pitala some months ago.

Police arrested two Mozambican suspects over the beheading of the woman but the villagers believed that two Rwandan nationals were also involved.

However, after the Mozambicans were arrested the villagers wanted to take them from the hands of the police and kill them, something which resulted in a commotion.

Amidst the chaos, the arrested suspects found a chance and ran away, leading to the violent protests.