33 nabbed over Kaphiri riots

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Police in Lilongwe are keeping in custody 33 people in connection to riots in Kaphiri where residents were engaged in running battles with police officers after the death of a community member.

Lilongwe Police Spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula told Malawi24 that a boy identified as Masauko Gabriel Makola was on 6 April murdered by unknown criminals in the area of Traditional Authority Tsabango in the district.

Masauko was operating motorcycle business (Kabaza) at Kaphiri Trading Centre along Lilongwe- Blantyre road and on this day he got hired by a person and never returned.

“The matter was then reported to Chitsime Police Unit and investigations to trace his whereabouts started. Sadly, the missing person was found dead on 8th April 2017 at Buluzi village, in the same area, behind a certain unfinished house,” Dandaula told Malawi24.

Kaphiri fracas

Mob torches police vehicle.

The dead body was then taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital for post-mortem where it was revealed that death was due to multiple injuries. On the same day (8th April) rumours begun to spread in the area that the police at Chitsime Unit are keeping in custody a suspect in connection to the murder of Masauko.

“The villagers then mobilized themselves and descended on the police unit where they demanded the police to hand over the suspect to them so that they should kill him in revenge,” Dandaula said.

The police however disputed the rumour of keeping in custody any murder suspect and this did not go well with the mob who thought the police were shielding the suspect.

“The angry villagers then got mad and started attacking the police unit and due to the attack, five vehicles belonging to different people which were parked at the premise got seriously damaged,” Dandaula said.

The mob also set ablaze a police armoured vehicle. Meanwhile, the police have managed to arrest thirty three (33) people in connection to the attack.

They have all been charged with malicious damage and will appear before court very soon.

The investigations to arrest the suspect who murdered Masauko, are still underway.

The Malawi Police has since condemned the barbaric attacks on public property especially police formations by some uncivilized citizenry as these acts are retrogressive to the nation’s development.

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