House fire, poisoned food kill 12 in a week

Just within a week Malawi has lost 12 people who have brutally died either through suspected food poisoning or house infernos.

All the 12 deaths occurred in the central and southern regions with the latest being the demise of three family members in Mchinji district on Thursday night.

The Mchinji house inferno which occurred at Kapiri Trading Centre around midnight of Thursday as all family members were asleep, also left two other family members critically injured, according to Mchinji police report.

Mchinji police public relations officer sergeant Moses Nyirenda identified the deceased as Lackson 24, Christopher 17, and five-year-old Christian. All are Kasalika’s and they hail from Kafulama Village, TA Mlonyeni in the district.

The two who are battling for life at hospital are Flora Kasalika, their mother and Nise who is reportedly in the Intensive care Unit (ICU) while their ten-year-old girl Joyce survived unhurt.

Ligowe: Kids started sweating after taking porridge

The police PRO said there was power blackout until around 21:00 hours when the entire family went to bed and it was around midnight when fire and heavy smoke coming from the living room was seen.

“The mother is said to have seen the fire and smoke emanating from the sitting room and when she shouted for help the three deceased who were sleeping at the sitting room had already died,” he explained.

During the time of the incident, the father Richard Kasalika was still at work. The father is a driver for Super Sink Bus Service of Mponela in Dowa.

In another incident that occurred on Tuesday, two children, Ezara Mandaliza, 3, and five-year-old Francis Kondwani, died at Lungu Village in TA Kulumo in Ntchisi district after fire caught a bundles of thatching grass whish had surrounded a pigsty which in which they were playing.

In the same district, a four-year-old child William Kasakula from Mbewa village, TA Nthondo also died on Wednesday after reportedly eating wild beans.

Ntchisi Police Spokesperson Gladson M’bumpha said the child was among six peers, who ate the beans and two are still in hospital while three are safe.

Another sad death occurred on Sunday in the family of Feston and Estere Maganiza of Lilongwe where two siblings died at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) after being seriously burnt by house fire last Friday.

Police say the house of Feston and Estere was allegedly set on fire by two brothers, Andrew and Aaron Toleza, to punish Estere whom they suspected of being in a secret love affair with their father, Mr.Toleza.

Estere, their mother of the deceased, is also currently in a critical condition at the same hospital.

In Thyolo in the village of Ntholora, TA Chimaliro, two little children of the same family died at Thyolo District Hospital on Wednesday after they ate suspected poisoned porridge which was prepared by their mother, Lonny Kaliati, 23.

The two kids, Kumbukani, 5, and his two year-old-sister Regina ate the porridge together with their other sister, Teleza, who is steadily recovering at the hospital.

Southern Region Police Spokesperson Edna Ligowe said immediately after taking the porridge the kids started sweating and vomiting profusely and were pronounced dead upon arrival the hospital.

Hospital officials confirmed that the two died of poisoning and police suspect the poison was administered by someone either in flour or water which the mother used to cook the porridge.

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