Malawi Police in Mchinji, a central region district bordering with Zambia, have arrested 17 teenage boys who belong to several local criminal gangs such as ‘Boko Haram’ for beating and robbing pupils in primary schools in the district.
The 17 boys (names withheld for legal reasons) with ages ranging from 14 to 16 were arrested on Wednesday following police investigations into criminal activities perpetrated by the boys among them snatching porridge from pupils, beating them and forcing them to smoke Indian hemp (Chamba) at Bua and Kamuzu primary schools in the district.
Mchinji Police Publicist Moses Nyirenda said the 17 boys were arrested at an Area called Robert Three in the ongoing police crackdown on gangs by the teenagers.
“We received several reports from parents and teachers from the two schools on the violence these teens have caused and we held meetings with the concerned parties and as Police we promised them to act on the allegations, and we have arrested the 17 who are now in custody pending trial at the court,” he said.
Nyirenda said the 17 were arrested after victims of the violence tipped the police and they will be charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace and assault charges.
He also said during their investigations the boys revealed they were involved in the acts after smoking chamba and drinking sachet liquor.
Meanwhile, Police have arrested a 35 year old Gabriel Dzanja for supplying the boys with Indian hemp at his house in the district.
“We searched Dzanja’s house and we found packed chamba balls ready for sale and we confiscated them and arrested him,” he explained.
Apart from beating pupils, the gangs have been reported to have threatened teachers by painting walls of classrooms insulting them and forcing school going children to join their gangs.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :