Villagers torch chief’s houses over land dispute


Police in Dedza are hunting for villagers who looted property and set on fire houses belonging to their chief on suspicions that the traditional leader sold ancestral land.

According to Dedza Police Deputy Spokesperson Cassim Manda, the chief and two other traditional leaders from the area are currently hiding as they fear that they will be killed by the villagers.

The three chiefs are Rodrick Kaposi also known as Group village headman Kapesi aged 61, Daveston Mandalawe, 40, (village headman Memezeya) and another leader identified as Dalison Magwaza.

According to Dedza Police Deputy Spokesperson Cassim Manda, on Monday this week Group Village head Kapesi attended the funeral ceremony of one of his subjects.

While there, villagers apprehended him and later locked him in a church, accusing the chief of selling land to the Dedza District Council.

Some well-wishers alerted police about the development and the law enforcers rushed to the scene where they rescued the chief.

Later, the gang flocked to the office of district commissioner to seek answers on the sale of their farming lands.

The DC’s office told the villagers to meet on Wednesday April 8 to discuss the issue. On Wednesday, the disgruntled villagers mobilized other villagers to rise against their chief.

The gang marched to Dedza Stadium where the council had proposed to be a place of discussion. On their way, they started stoning office of lands.

Police rushed to the scene to control and rescue the three traditional leaders whom the gang were baying for their blood.

But the villagers went to chief Kapesi’s home where they damaged and set fire some houses. The gang stole also looted property at the houses.

Meanwhile, Police in Dedza have vowed to arrest all the culprits involved in looting.

Police have deployed and intensified patrols to make sure that the families of the three victims are well protected.

The chiefs hail from the area of traditional authority Kachere in Dedza district.