Three suspects escaped police custody during anti-government protests


Three suspects took advantage of anti-government demonstrations in Lilongwe on Friday to escape from police custody at Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court.

Two of the suspects are Phinious Banda, 23, from Nathenje Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalumba, and Wiseman Patrick, 24, of Msundwe Village, T/A Kalolo, both from Lilongwe District. The third suspect was yet to be identified.

On Friday, anti-government protesters took to the streets of Lilongwe and the protests descended into riots.

According to Lilongwe Police Public Relations Officer Hastings Chigalu, the three suspects were taken from Maula Prison where they were on remand, to Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court for trial.

While waiting to be taken into the courtroom, the three and others were kept in court cells.

“When the demonstrators arrived at Lilongwe District Council offices which is close to the court, they started rioting and the three suspects took advantage of the volatile situation and bolted from the court buildings and disappeared into the rioting crowd,” explained Chigalu.

He said the two identified suspects are the main culprits who were behind a series of burglary and theft cases in Areas 3 and 9 in the city.

Police have since appealed for information on the whereabouts of the suspects.