Two European Union (EU) officials who have arrived as international observers ahead of May 21 tripartite elections have been attacked and robbed in Chikhwawa at a lodge they had checked in.
Police in Chikhwawa have confided in Nyasa Times that a manhunt is currently underway for the thugs said to be about ten.
The observers have been identified as Mario Orru, 51, and a lady, Slavena Lieva, 40 are said to have met their fate at around 2 o’clock in the morning at Memories Lodge where they have been putting up since April 18.
“About 10 thugs, armed with panga knives and disguised in masks, stormed into the lodge after tying up both the watchman and the receptionist using mosquito nets. They stormed into Orru’s room and demanded cash at a knifepoint.
“The thugs hacked him on the back of his head and lower lip before making off with a laptop, two cellphones and cash amounting to K1.3 million.
“The criminals went on invading Lieva’s room where they stole cash amounting to 500 United States dollars,” said Chikhwawa police publicist, Foster Benjamin.
In his remarks, University of Livingstonia political science lecturer, George Phiri, has since said government should “scale up” security in the country.
According to Phiri, it was imperative that security for people involved in the election process are protected.
“It is sad that this is happening. These are the people who will at the end of the day either credit or discredit our elections. So, if there is no security as regards to them it becomes worrisome.
“And security should not only be for international observers but those within in the country too. Their security is very paramount for a fair, free and credible election,” said Phiri.