Angry residents in Mangochi vandalized and looted DAPP Retail Shop in protest to what they described as ‘ill treatment’ of a woman who was caught pilfering in the shop.
The incident occurred late in the afternoon on Wednesday.
According to eyewitnesses, it all began when unidentified woman was caught with clothes which she did not declare at the cashier’s counter.
Workers in the shop poured paint over the woman and went on to undress her, leaving her in underwear only.
According to Abdul Hassan, who owns a grocery shop next to DAPP retail shop, the conduct of DAPP employees did not please onlookers who protested against their act.
“People flocked in from Mtalimanja area and the market and accused the workers of over-punishing the woman over a matter that could have been handled by the police,” Hassan said.
He added that a similar incident had occurred again earlier in the morning involving two men, but they only had paint poured over their bodies and they were left to go without undressing them.
“So, people wondered why this woman was treated differently to a similar offence committed by the men,” said Hassan, adding that as the crowd grew bigger, things went out of hand as some people began vandalizing and looting the shop.
Mangochi Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Rodrick Maida, confirmed the incident but said workers in the second-hand clothes’ shop got a tip on Wednesday that a certain woman usually visited the shop to steal clothes, which she later sold at the market.
Maida said the woman showed up on Wednesday and when she went to the till to pay for what she had shopped, she was quizzed by the shop attendants.
“One of the female attendants asked the woman to remove her leggings which she was putting on and it was discovered that she was actually wearing 2 leggings, which all had clothes stacked in them,” Maida said.
He continued: “After taking the clothes to the counter, they amounted to MK40, 000 which she was asked to pay but she said she had no money.”
Maida said the woman was asked to call her relations to bail her out but when contacted, they all said they had no money.
“This prompted the shop attendants to pour paint over her body and let her go.”
According to Maida, it was the woman’s relations who came to the shop and caused all the chaos after the woman had narrated what had happened to her.
The police were called to the scene at around 6pm and they only managed to arrest one person and recovered two bags of clothes, according to Maida.
No cash has been reported missing and the value of the item lost in the fracas is yet to be known as DAPP personnel could not be reached for a comment.
Meanwhile, Mangochi Police say they are still investigating the matter and will bring to book anyone involved in the vandalism and looting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :