Disgruntled bicycle taxi operators, popularly known as Kabanza, on Friday clashed with police in Mzuzu because of what they have described “unfair treatment” from the former.
Nyasa Times correspondent in Mzuzu, Chancy Gondwe, says there was “chaos.”
He said the “operators blocked the road with logs of wood to express their anger following an operation by the police that aims at confiscating any bicycle taxi seen around the city’s central business district.”
There was a traffic standstill on the Karonga-Mzuzu M1 road [next to St John of God College of Health Sciences] for about forty five minutes until police came to the scene to quell the situation, Nyasa Times correspondent says.
“But the operators were militant such that the police were about to use teargas when they dispersed,” he added.
A man in civilian clothes, believed to be a police officer, –probably minding and doing his own things and off duty –has been badly beaten, an eye witness told Nyasa Times.
It is not yet clear whether or not the man in question was indeed a police officer.
Mzuzu Police Publicist Martin Bwanali and northern region police publicist Maurice Chapola could not immediately comment.
The bicycles are confiscated to quell traffic congestion in Mzuzu CBD. But the operators, most of who live below the breadline, have no choice.