Commissioners puzzled over Karonga Chief’s torched vehicle

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the July 20 anti- government protests on Tuesday failed to get an explanation from Police Officers in Karonga as to why people burnt a Pick up vehicle belonging to ceremonial Chief Karonga of Karonga.

The Chief’s vehicle, a Hyundai donated to him, courtesy of wellwisher in Karonga was less than a year old.

But NyasaTimes learnt from impeccable sources at the Boma that prior to demonstrations on July 19th, Chief Karonga irked people when he told the nation on public TV that he had instructed his people not to go to the streets and they had agreed.

Chimwenje: Testifiying

“People wanted to show the Chief that  he does not own them  and cannot control them,” the source said.

All the Police officer show testified on Tuesday told the Commission that people targeted shops owned by foreigners like Chinese, Pakistanis or Lebanese.

“So why did people torch Chief Karonga’s vehicle? Was he connected in any way with the organisation of demonstrations,” Commissioner Mihowa asked separately each of the Police Officers.

Officer in Charge of Ipyana Police Mobile Service Manase Wilimoti Chimwenje expressed ignorance and pushed the blamed to his colleagues in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) saying they have the mandate to investigate.

But detective Inspector Henry Kasambala said to date they have not investigate the link.

“We managed to arrest 18 people during that day and recover lots of items. The Courts convicted two and discharged the rest,” Kasambala said.

The Commission, which is sitting in Karonga, is getting testimonies from the public on what transpired during that day, specifically trying to find out what lead to the looting and arson and the subsequent death of one person.

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