Terror has ensued in Lupembe Area, popularly known as ‘Benghazi’ for its 2014 political violence, following a land misunderstanding, Malawi police have confirmed.
There is hacking of each other and fighting which might lead to loss of lives. We’ve learnt that there already has been damage to property belonging to the warring royal families of Kayuni, Mwalwanda and Mwenelupembe.
Enock Livason, Karonga Police publicist confirmed the development to Nyasa Times but was quick to say that the “situation was under control” in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.
But as at dusk, terror had returned to the Karonga Central Constituency ‘centre-point’ and it would take hours before the police knew.
Nyasa Times understands that there is a political force behind the insurgency in which Mwenelupembe wants to share land with the Mwalwanda family, leaving out the Kayuni family who have been owners of the disputed land since the 1930s.
According to reports, following the death of Group Village Headman (GVH) Kayuni a few years ago, there has been pressure from the Mwalwanda family to have a share of the land which, culturally, is not supposed to happen.
Late GVH Kayuni resisted to let the occurrence happen.
Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda, a former MP of the area, is believed to be behind the orchestrating of the fiasco.
Wesley Winga, one of the keen followers of the happenings, revealed in an interview with Nyasa Times that it was “rumoured” that Mwalwanda was offering financial support to some front liners perpetrating the violence.
He said the Mwalwanda family, to which Dr. Cornelius belongs, has been arguing to have a share of the land since the 50s but they could not because their tradition “does not allow.”
The vehicle, which according to Winga ignited the bloodshed, arrived in the village with officials from the Lands Office and a delegation from Paramount Chief Kyungu but they were chased out of the village by irate young men.
Kyungu is presently in Copenhagen for official business, attempts to speak to his secretary Alexander Mboma proved futile as his mobile phone could not be reached as we went online.
Some quarters believe that the insurgency could become even much worse considering the fact that Mwalwanda still feels bitter with his loss to incumbent MP Frank Mwenifumbo during the May 2014 tripartite elections.
Prior to the elections there had been torching of houses and bloodshed among supporters of the two.
Chiradzulu land dispute
Meanwhile, a 62 year-old man identified as Frank Matewere and his 51 year-old son in-law, Vincent Chisale, were on Monday evening and Tuesday morning murdered respectively in Chiradzulu over a land dispute, according to press reports.
“Matewere won a land dispute case against his son in-law Chisale at Chisombezi Court. The following day, Chisale went to his father in-law’s house with his two friends pretending to be interested in buying the disputed land,” Chiradzulu police spokesperson Victoria Chirwa is quoted saying.
On their way to show the interested buyers the land, Chisale allegedly stabbed his father in-law on the back and escaped from the place with his two friends. Later, two women found Matewere in great pain and informed his relatives but he was already dead when they arrived at the scene.”
Acting in anger, Chirwa said Matewere’s relatives man-hunted Chisale and assaulted him to death.
According to Chirwa, postmortem conducted at Chiradzulu District Hospital revealed that Matewere died of loss of blood while Chisale, who was burnt to death, died of third degree burns from head to lower extremities.
Both Matewere and Chisale hailed from Gogomwa village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Likoswe Chiradzulu.
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