Drama ensued in Blantyre when police officers and Blantyre City Council (BCC) rangers tussled over sewer pipes believed to have been stolen at the College of Medicine (CoM) campus on Thursday night.
Three police officers were caught red-handed by a BCC team loading the pipes in a three-tonner vehicle, registration number BJ 8599, along the bush that separates CoM campus and the Beit Trust Cure International Hospital.
According to a source at BCC, the five steel sewer pipes, each weighing over 300kgs and 12-metre long, are valued at over K2 million.
“We got a tip from one of the CoM students who saw a suspicious vehicle along the bush loading the pipes. In no time, our people rushed to the scene where they indeed found the vehicle busy loading the pipes.
“The people panicked upon seeing the BCC patrol vehicle emerging at the bushy scene of the crime with fully charged rangers. And when the BCC team leader snatched the vehicle’s ignition keys and ordered them to stop loading the pipes, one of the police officers identified as Sergeant Phiri suggested that they talk aside,” explained the source.
The three police officers were leading a group of over 10 other people in loading the sewer pipes.
After confronting him, the police sergeant is reported to have said they found the pipes hidden there and as ‘good citizens’ they decided to hire the vehicle and transport them to BCC offices and also engaged the other people to load them into the vehicle.
His explanation did not convince BCC officials who ordered that their hired vehicle and the sewer pipes be taken to Blantyre Police Station.
But the police officers, suspected to be master minders of the mission, blocked the demand opting to take them to BCC offices where they eventually all went.
However, Nyasa Times investigations indicate that despite the available clues (that the police officers were behind the theft mission) nothing was done to “perfectly” interrogate them.
A source said the police officers were left scot free and only asked to go back to claim their money which they alleged to have used for hiring the vehicle and the men to load the pipes but they have not gone back.
Two of the three police officers, who on the material day, were all in civilian, are based at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital police unit located near MTL Customers’ Centre along the Chipatala Avenue.
There was no immediate reaction from the police as Blantyre Police Station assistant spokesperson Lameck Thembachako as well as Southern Region were both not reachable.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :