Policeman ‘accidently’ shoots civilian in Mzuzu: To sue

James Phiri, 38, of Mzuzu has filed an intention to sue the Attorney General over an arm injury he has incurred following a stray bullet from a Malawi Police Service (MPS) officer Wednesday afternoon.

Injured by stray bullet -- Gondwe. Pic by Pius Nyondo, Nyasa Times

Injured by stray bullet — Gondwe. Pic by Pius Nyondo, Nyasa Times

Phiri, who looked in indescribable pain during an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, said he was “afraid the same thing is going to happen again.”

A driver by profession, Phiri said he was walking about the street – in the central business district – when he heard a gunshot.

“I didn’t know what was happening until I felt pain all over my body and saw blood gushing out. I shouted for help,” narrated Phiri.

Eye witnesses told Nyasa Times that two police officers on patrol had been toying with a rifle when, as they handed the rifle over to each other, the gun was accidentally fired.

A medical report by Mzuzu Central Hospital confirms Phiri was “accidentally”shot.

He was treated for severe bleeding on Wednesday and Thursday, and is expected to report to the hospital again on Friday for an operation to remove the bullet.

Nyasa Times investigations indicate that Police is shielding the cop who fired the gun,.

Pondela of the Criminal Investigation Department took the victim to the hospital.

Maurice Chapola, northern region police spokesperson, “confirmed” the development but could not divulge further details.

The notice of intended suit against the attorney general, signed by private practice lawyer Victor Gondwe of John Tennyson & Associates on behalf of Phiri, states that “upon the expiry of ninety days we will commence legal proceedings against yourselves as is statutorily required.”

It is not the first time that police have been involved in such malpractices. Their negligence is alleged to have also resulted in the deaths of University of Malawi (Unima) students Fanikiso Phiri and Robert Chasowa and legendary reggae musician Evison Matafale.

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There is no secret under the sun E

nyasa boy

Nkhani yikumveka tiyeninawoni apolisi ndibomalawo mwandikumbutsa evison matafale ndi fanikizo phiri ntima wanga wandipweteka

peeping lizard

muthuyotu mumulipire sikutinso mumpondereze ndiapolisi anu mumangotengana pachibale asanapite ku xool

One think I’ve noted is that Police department lacks arms discipline right from training. In the army no soldier can just point a gun at a fellow soldier or anyway even when he is sure that there r no bullets. It is a crime to fire accidentary. One can even loose his/her job for accidental shooting at anyone. Or just misfire. That police officer plus his charged with negligence. And also the shoot must be charged with unlawful wounding. Or even attempted manslaughter. Becoz if was on a chest,we cud hv been talking of something. Let others take a lesson.… Read more »

I wish him quick recovery. Just as human right defender said, guns are not toy. What if the man wasn’t so lucky. The police force need to perform their duties as duties. The officers involved should be reprimanded.

Juniour Lipenga

It wasn’t un accident coz mfuti singaombe yokha, their is a long process kuti Chipolopolo chituluke, One He put the Mag two he cooked the rifle meaning to say it was his Intention to shoot then akutsekula safety Catch, last Stage akufinya trigger… U say Gents almost 5 to 6 stage kuti munthu aombe nde ur calling it “accident” God forbid kodi agaylu inu amakuphuzitsani chani ku Police kwanuko….. That is not Accidental Discharge…. but Zadala or Negligence


Policemen toying with a rifle? In the middle of a city? Really? Are we talking of trained policemen or….? Who trained them? We are always hearing that our policemen and policewomen are professionals. Are these among such? If they are, I have free advice for Malawians and it is this: Keep a safe distance from any professional policeman you see! Wakumva amve, ine ndanena.

Keen Observer

Ya that’s bad for Phiri but there is nothing wrong to sue the government he needs that financial assistance.


There is need for progressive training in weapon handling in the MPS to avoid future occurrences otherwise similar incidents will continue. Remember Epiphania Bonjesi, Fanikiso Phiri, a certain soldier in Zomba and others.


Weapons have safety catch…you can only fire when you intentionally realise the safety pin……what happened here is beyond belief !!!

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