Mchinji Police together with their counterparts in Vubwi, Zambia on Tuesday, calmed the chaos that erupted between Tsumba II Village under Traditional Authority (T.A.) Mlonyeni in Mchinji and Chikoka Village under Chief Pembamoyo of Vubwi District on the Zambian side following an assault of a 41-year-old Malawian man, Yolonima Phiri, of Tsumba II Village.
According to Mchinji Police Public Relations Officer, Limbani Mpinganjira, the victim was attacked during the morning hours by a group of people suspected to be from Chikoka Village when he was conducting some garden work in his field on the Malawian side.
The land was once owned by Zambians of Chikoka Village before the erection of beacons in 2021, denoting the official territorial boundaries of the two countries.
“Running battles ensued between the two villages when some irate villagers from Tsumba II from the Malawi side sought revenge leading to the torching of a Kitchen and a grass-thatched fence belonging to a Chikoka resident on the Zambian side.
“Mchinji Police immediately visited the scene and reported the incident to Vubwi Police of Zambia. The police from two sides managed to jointly disperse the crowd, which calmed the situation,” said Mpinganjira.
Over the past two years, there have been land wrangles between the villages along the border lines following a resolution that was arrived at by the chiefs and other authorities from the two countries.
The resolution, among other things, entailed that Malawians owning land but now residing on the Zambian side must stop cultivating on land on Malawian side, and Zambians followed suit as agreed.
While Phiri is being treated at Mchinji District Hospital, the district commissioners for Mchinji and Vubwi are discussing the issue to map out the way forward in preventing such chaos from erupting again.
Reported by Vincent Khonje