Armed robbers ransack Malawi Ombudsman’s residence

A group of fully armed robbers Sunday morning broke into the house of Malawi’s Ombudsman Justice Tujilane Chizumila and made away with cash and assorted items but did not harm anyone, police have confirmed.

Central Region Police Spokesperson John Namalenga said after breaking into the house, the criminals forced all family members present into one room before stealing cash and a number of items valued at about K2.5 million.

The Ombudsman, who has recently been in the limelight for the wrong reasons, resides close to the Natural Resources College (NRC) in Lilongwe.

“Unknown number of criminals force-entered the house and among others they stole cash, two DSTV decoders, a laptop, 15 play station games, three car keys, six cell phones, an LG television set, two external hard drives and a bag of cement,” he said.

Justice Tujilane Chizumila : Malawi’s Ombundsman

Justice Tujilane Chizumila : Malawi’s Ombundsman

Police say they have not yet arrested anyone but have instituted an investigation into the matter.

Late last year, the Ombudsman, Malawi’s de facto public protector, was arrested by police in Lilongwe on suspicion of abuse of her office and theft and spent hours at the National Police Headquarters at Area 30 in Lilongwe for interrogations.

And just last month, a Mzimba based small-scale miner gave her 30 days in which to determine his 16 year-old-case in which he is seeking compensation from the Malawi Government following the seizure of his mine in 1990.

The miner, Gregory O’Mally Fundi Phiri, through lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company, wrote the Ombudsman on February 18th this year, asking her office to expedite the matter and make a determination.

Phiri first lodged his complaint in September 1998 but in 2003 the Ombudsman closed his case mistakenly claiming that the matter was statute-barred but it was re-opened around 2008 but all these years no determination has been done.

Phiri is seeking millions of Malawi Kwacha for loss of income following the seizure of his mine.

But the Ombudsman office challenged Phiri saying the Ombudsman cannot be taken to court to force her expedite a determination.

It said if a complainant was not satisfied with the Ombudsman’s services, he or she was free to withdraw his/her case and present it to other case handling bodies in Malawi like the court of law.

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