A shop attendant working for Al-Badar Hardware in the city of Lilongwe is admitted at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) after being beaten severely by his Indian boss on Tuesday on suspicion that he stole some second hand trousers which they sell outside the hardware shop.
The shop attendant, Charles Pukuta, 28, speaking to Lilongwe News Agency (LINA) with difficulty from his hospital bed because of the pain, said he was tied up and beaten by his boss without questioning him at Biwi location in Lilongwe.
“The boss tied me up and started beating me without questioning, and later the boss was joined by his son, both beating me. It took about an hour beating me with sticks before police rescued me otherwise I don’t know what would have happened of me if police did not come,” explained Pukuta who has worked with the shop for three years and rose to the position of head shop attendant.
He said the trousers in question were found hidden behind the shop but no one knew who hid them there. It is said that Pukuta as head shop attendant was the prime suspect otherwise, it was claimed, he should have seen the culprit or noted the shortage.
Security guards working for neighbouring shops who witnessed the incident said that they could hear the beating from the shop and urged other Al-Badar shop attendants to shout for help if something fishy was happening inside their shop.
“The shop attendants did not do anything possibly afraid of dismissal till some people wanting to buy the second hand clothes alerted police who did not take time to come on the scene and intervened,” said one of the guards.
The guards continued saying that when the police brought the victim out of the shop, he couldn’t walk, sit himself or speak; his right hand had been broken. He was rushed to KCH by police as they bound the shop owner on his way to Lilongwe Police Station.
The security guards confided that soon after the arrest of Salim Ahammed,49, people who were buying the second hand clothes, especially women, declared the clothes free for all claiming that the Indians were beating one of their brothers as a reason. They said the women and other passers-by scrambled for the clothes and no worker at the hardware tried to stop them.
Lilongwe Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Inspector Kingsley Dandaula confirmed the incident.
“On Tuesday morning, the employee who is a salesman at the shop went to work as usual, later during the day the shop owner started accusing the salesman of stealing and hiding clothes from the shop.
“The salesman denied the allegations but the shop owner was not convinced up to the extent of tying the employee with a rope and started hitting him with a wooden rod until he broke his right hand arm, said Dandaula.
He said Ahammed has been charged with grievous harm contrary to Section 238 of the Penal Code. He is expected to appear before court soon.
The Police identified the salesman as Charles Pukuta, 28, from Chakhoma village in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwalo in Phalombe district. – Additional reporting by Maston Kaiya, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :