HRDC demos: vehicles and buildings damaged, 17 arrested

Police have arrested 17 people for various criminal acts during the demonstrations organized the by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition in Lilongwe where building and vehicles were damaged along the route used by the protesters.

A preliminary report released by the police also shows that six police officers sustained injuries during the protests.

According to police, Mapanga Furniture and Blockbuster shop near Gutters as well as Mchesi Rising Star, Newton Hardware and Chimbwabwa Funeral Service at Mchesi were damaged by the demonstrators.

Police also received reports from four drivers who complained that their vehicles were damaged during the protests with some criminals using bolts and nuts to break windows of the vehicles.

While passing on the M1 Road near Police Mobile Service C Division campus, the demonstrators pelted stones at police officers who were then in their campus manning the premises.

Six officers were left with injuries during the attack with sustaining head injuries.

Following the violence that marred the protests, Police have arrested 13 people.

Four suspects were found with catapults, bolts and nuts which the police say they used in damaging the buildings and motor vehicles as well as causing injury to police officers.

They are Mayeso Yuston aged 17, Gerald Charles aged 13, Leston Chebakili aged 15 and Charles Yusuf aged 14.

Eight other suspects were arrested while breaking shops at Area 18A. They are Chimwemwe Waluza aged 23, Langison Maunde aged 19, Timothy Banda aged 15, Gerald Anold aged 18, Moffat Chabwera aged 21, Jailosi Chauma aged 31, Helix Banda aged 24 and Stephano Kalipinde aged 22.

Another suspect, Steve Mekiyasi aged 19 was arrested while breaking a car and was found with catapult, bolt and nuts.

Ishmael Labu aged 25 was arrested and found with shirts, shoes and baby bag while Chiletso Phiri was arrested at Area 18B by members of the public while stealing goods.

A building damaged during protests

Phiri gave the stolen items to his friend who escaped from the scene. He was seriously assaulted by the public and was taken to Kamuzu Central hospital for treatment.

The police also arrested Lloyd Kambalame aged 21 and George Chisiyesiye aged 32 for pelting stones at police houses.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition organized the protests to demand the arrest of police officers accused of raping women and girls at Msundwe and other trading centres in Lilongwe.

The rights group has since vowed to conduct further demonstrations if the accused police officers are not arrested in five days.

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