Malawi Police in Ntcheu have arrested seven suspected thugs who have been attacking motorists along the M1 road, particularly around Kachipeya area which is between Lizulu and Njolomole in Ntcheu district after other six were jailed.
The suspects arrested on Thursday are; Paul Pasiford 57, Medas Sungani 26, both from Hauya village; Sympathy Mcford 21, Fanuel Samson 16, Nepias Samson 20 from Kamko village; Geofrey Laston 17, and Felix Laston 19, from Kachipeya village.
Motorists travelling on this road, mostly at night, have for a long time been targeted by people who block the road with big rocks, and sometimes with heavy plunks of trees, aiming at robbing the travellers.
Property worthy of millions has been lost in the process, and individuals left with life threatening injuries after being hurt with pangas.
Having received reports of the same, Ntcheu Police started patrolling the whole area every night since six pople who hail from Mapira village, T/A Chakhumbira in the district were in 2016 slapped with 8 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for being found guilty of Intentionally Endangering safety of persons Travelling By Road contrary to Section 237 (C) of the Penal Code.
The convicts were 42-year-old (ex-convict and ring-leader) Willy John, Tiago Yohane 35 years old, Petulo Sakondwera Enock, 21, Tchethani Francis 21 years old, Talani Fumbutsani, 26, and 22-year-old Chipiliro Clement.
In addition, the Station engaged traditional leaders and other stake holders in senstising the communities around, about the ugly side of this evil act.
According to Ntcheu Police Public Relations Officer, Hastings Chigalu, the intervetions seemed to have a positive impact, only for the problem to resurface again this time around. This forced the Station to change the whole approach to the problem.
“The Station has put in place enough measures to arrest the situation once and for all. The arresting of the seven suspects in a single day is a clear testimony that efforts to curb the malpractice have started bearing fruits,” Chigalu said in a statement.
Some of the arrested suspects were on Police wanted list for re-arrest. They have been jumping court bail for the past six months after committing similar offences.
Police said the suspects will appear in court soon to answer a case of ‘Intentionally Endangering Lives of People Travelling by Road’ which contravenes section 237 of the Penal Code.
All the suspects hail from Traditional Authority Chakhumbira in the district.