Villagers from Chibade in Limbuli area in Mulanje are protesting the death of an area youth leader allegedly by Malawi Army soldiers as the battle for protection of Mulanje mountain trees rages on.
At the funeral which took place in Limbuli on Saturday, MP for the area Daudi Chida told mourners that 31 year old Alick Kambewa was beaten to death by the soldiers.
“He had planks and when the soldiers ordered him to surrender them, he refused because he argued they did not belong to him, this is when the beating and torture started,” he said.
This is the second death in the hands of the soldiers in two months.
The soldiers however say Kambewa was hit by a speeding vehicle, a claim rejected by the villagers who said Kambewa’s body had all marks of torture.
Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said his office is yet to get a thorough report on the matter.
Kambewa is survived by a wife and three children.
Some civil rights leaders are asking the government to investigate reports of human rights violations by soldiers who were deployed to protect forests, including Mulanje mountain and Dzalanyama forest.