Residents of Mwankenja Village Traditional Authority Kyungu in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga have been left homeless after some neighbouring villages set on fire 28 houses in the village due to land dispute.
According to Karonga Police Spokesperson Enock Livasion, the police received communication on Monday night that people from villages of Mwenitete and Mwawembe have attacked Mwankenja village as the three villages are in disagreement on land ownership used for cultivation.
Livasion said apart from the 28 houses which have been completely damaged, three people were injured with two admitted at the district hospital, one was treated as an outpatient.
“It was around 7PM on Monday when we received communication from Village Headman Mwankenja that angry people from Mwenitete and Mwawembe villages have set on fire his village due to the disagreement on land ownership to the point that 28 houses are completely destroyed and three people injured in the process,” said Livasion.
Livasion identified the injured as Edward Kalambo 85, Thomas Mwangonde 33 and Magadalena Towela all from Mwankenja village.
“Apart from the damaged properties which were in the houses, these angry people have also stolen livestock such as goats, chicken and pigs,” said Livasion.
He pointed out that the police have managed to arrest 12 people suspected to be involved in the malpractice.
“So far we have arrested 12 people who will answer charges of arson but we are expected to arrest more as the investigations are still under way,” he said.
Police are still assessing the damages.
Village Headman Mwankenja blamed Traditional Authority of the area for the incident.
“This disagreement on land in my area is an outstanding issue. It started three years ago and the issue became more serious last year to the point that we took it to the T/A so that he should judge the real owner of the land. He did not make any determination till now denying people justice.”
District Director of Administration Geoffrey Mkandawire said they are yet to establish what happened.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :