Malawi students loot Puma Energy filling station: Police fire teargas

The ongoing civil servants strike in Malawi worsened on Thursday when angry students joined by other youths turned violent in some parts of the commercial capital Blantyre.

Business came to a halt in the central business district of Blantyre City when the school children from different primary schools took to the streets chanting anti-President Joyce Banda songs.

The students were protesting against government’s failure to address their teachers’ concerns which has resulted in them abandoning classes.

The situation got worse in Zingwangwa and Chirimba Townships where the angry students smashed vehicles, burnt used tyres and created ad hoc road blocks.

A PUMA Fuel Station at Kudya was smashed and nearly set ablaze by the angry students from Zingwangwa Secondary and Primary Schools who were joined by scores of other onlookers.

Caught on camera: One of the looters
Caught on camera: One of the looters

The fuel station’s shop was smashed and all the merchandises were swept clean as fuel attendants and security guards belonging to G4S took cover.

The crowd also damaged an Auto Teller Machine (ATM) for NBS Bank before police arrived at the scene and fired teargas canisters to aggressively disperse the crowd.

The angry mob burnt used tyres in the middle of the roads leading to Nkolokosa, Zingwangwa and Blantyre making them impassable.

In Chirimba, there were ugly scenes too after students, who were marching to Sanjika Palace to express their grievances, smashed vehicles, particularly minibuses.

Hundreds of students clad in their different school uniforms shouted enraged slogans calling on President Banda to resign for failing to run the country.

Nyasa Times reporter who witnessed the revolting scenes at Pa ma Landrover, Pa Wholesale and Chemusa areas counted about eight minibuses that had their windows broken after the students stoned them.

Malawi’s multi-award winning musician, Lucius Banda, also had his black classy vehicle stoned after the pupils mistaken it for a cabinet minister.

The violent students also blocked the M1 road but were suppressed after marching for some kilometers by the anti-riot police who started unleashing of teargas canisters at them.

The sad development occurred a few hours after President Joyce Banda flew out to Equatorial Guinea for a two-day Africa-South America summit.

Kudya Filling Station shop damaged
Kudya Filling Station shop damaged
Police patrolling Zingwangwa township in Blantyre
Police patrolling Zingwangwa township in Blantyre
Drama Kudya Filling Station
Drama Kudya Filling Station
Police control; Monitoring situation in Blantyre as pupils take to the streets
Police control; Monitoring situation in Blantyre as pupils take to the streets

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