Fear grips Chitipa residents as armed robbers steal explosives

Malawi Police have launched a manhunt for a group of unknown criminals in Northern boarder districts of Chitipa and Karonga who allegedly stole explosives worth over K2 million, putting lives of hundreds of residents at risk.

The criminals also injured two security guards, one of whom a 56-year-old, is battling for life at Chitipa District Hospital, police have confirmed.

The development has created panic among residents of the area but the law enforcers have assured them of maximum security as they intensify their trail on the criminals.

The stolen explosives, which are used for rock blasting, belong to China Road and Bridge Corporation, contractors of the Chitipa-Karonga road.

Chimwala: Police on the look out
Chimwala: Police on the look out

Northern Region Police Spokesperson, Norah Chimwala, said about ten unknown armed robbers raided the Corporation’s camp at Kapoka in Chitipa District where they stole the dangerous explosives.

Before gaining entrance into the room where the explosives were being kept, the criminals are reported to have captured the guards, tied them to a tree before whipping them heavily with offensive weapons.

The two security guards are 56-year-old Levison Mulenga from Chief Mwenemisuku (who is currently admitted to hospital) and Louis Kayuni, 24, from Senior Chief Mwaulambia, both in Chitipa district.

After the robbery, police are reported to have followed the criminals’ footprints and managed to discover part of the stolen explosives which were abandoned in a bush. The recovered objects are reportedly worth about K450 000.

China Road and Bridge Corporation was granted a licence by the Malawi Government to use the explosives to break rocks while constructing the Chitipa-Karonga road.

Chimwala has since called on the public around the area to immediately report to any nearest police should they come across some strange objects as well as suspects.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Chinese Embassy in Lilongwe and the Ministry of Mines were on Friday expected to travel to the scene in Chitipa to appreciate the incident.

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