Malawians condemn army soldiers’ brutality over beating of charcoal burners

Malawians have taken up on social media to condemn alleged Malawi Defence Force soldiers who were seen on the social media video beating mercilessly armed charcoal burners in Dzalanyama forest in Lilongwe.

Malawi amry soldiers savage attack on civilians

Malawi amry soldiers savage attack on civilians

Councillor Botomani: Malawi Defence Force soldiers bathed me in mud

Councillor Botomani: Malawi Defence Force soldiers bathed me in mud

The video clip shows six soldiers stripping naked the helpless charcoal burners, forcing them lie down and beating them on their bare buttocks.

All the alleged soldiers were in Malawi army camouflage uniform with one of them carrying a gun.

One of the soldiers is said telling the charcoal burners that the army works in the forest and could not allow the fast depletion of trees which act as their cover.

Luciano Botomani, Councillor for Bunda Ward in Lilongwe Msinja North Constituency, who is also Vice Chairman for Lilongwe District Council, was amongst the people brutalised by the soldiers.

“It’s true, I was coming from my garden and when I got at Kataira Trading Centre I found soldiers confiscating charcoal. They called me and asked why I allow charcoal to freely pass in my ward to which I said it was not my job.

“They poured water on me, they bathed me in mud, they dabbed my face in ash, and they then lashed me thrice and staked me to a pole just like they did to Jesus on the cross.

“They also tied my left leg and made me stand by the roadside for over an hour so that people should see me,” said Botomani in an extended WhatsApp narration.

Lilongwe District Commissioner, Charles Kalemba, confirmed the incident, saying spoke to top officials in the Malawi Army and “ will sit down next week to see how the issues between the army and community can be resolved.”

Spokesman for MDF Paul Chiphwanya said the army will have to establish the authenticity of the video clip and identify the soldiers before making a comment on the matter.

Dzalanyama forest is fast losing treest due to charcoal sellers and the government deployed the Malawi army soldiers to check the situation after the police failed to control the situation in the watershed area that stretches from Lilongwe to Dedza.

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Kaphatwa
Guest

The whole councellor said its not his duty to stop people plandering natural resouces does he know his responsibilities?

gongonyeke fupa lany...
Guest

Vuto larikulu apa c anthu ogulitsa vuto ndiwogula, ndikanakonda Boma likanakonza njira zina zoti anthu adziphukira. Chifukwa magetsi paraffine zikusowa komanso kudura.

Duma
Guest

why condemning MDF? what will happen if the forest is gone? If forest department can not protect our beautiful forests countrywide let MDF do it on their behalf. we are experiencing massive blackouts because of low water lever as a result of deforestation. Malawi can not develop if we let everyone do what he feels is good. Do your job MDF.

jack Phalombe
Guest

Soldiers follow orders not your foolish human rights. If their commanders say OPEN FIRE they really do it. So please tell your villagers to be away from those forest reserves.

Very Scarred and Concerned Citizen
Guest

Savages. Similar to what they did in Nkhotakota in 2009. They just like violence. When did soldiers start enforcing the law? State of emergency or what. Sad. Paul Chiphwanya discipline your boys.

jack Phalombe
Guest

You should again beat these idiots around Zalewa who have made Shire river to flow on bare ground.

Rift Valley
Guest
I recal several yeras ago, in the 50’s, any one found plundering trees from the protected forests met the full force of the village headman or even the law. What is the problem with law enforcement these days? Is it democracy? I applaud the soldiers for treating these hoodlumsthe way they did; mercilessly. May be they went overboard but the protected forests, especially the catchment areas, must be jealously guarded and anyone found breaching the law must be dealt with severely as a lesson to others. Remember, the survival of the Capital City depends on Dzalanyama Forest. Mwatani kodi a… Read more »
vavlov
Guest

MDF, please beat more idiots. Also beat charcoal makers, vendors and buyers. Environmental degradation is worst in Malawi, causing siltation of the river systems, which is responsible for incessant power blackouts affecting the national economy. Driving in Lilongwe at nigh is like driving in a rural village. It is dark, in fact Lilongwe is the darkest city in the world. I wonder why Lilongwe is called a city. A city of hyaenas!!! MDF, beat more charcoal makers and vendors. You are doing excellent work.

murupale
Guest
Viva MDF Vivaaaa.Anation full of savages and short sighted will condem what the MDF team are doing….Imagine Councillor mkumati its not his responsibility to protect natural resources kkk ndiye mukakumana kukhonsolo what do u contribute.Machende ako khansala iwe..mkanakhala ine mkadakudula mulomo ndiwe nyasi za munthu heavy!.To the journalist who has posted this bibi,,,change ur mindset inthe way u approach environmental matters.If u have nothing to say pliz shut ur anus which u use to reason with…..That Forest iz the hub of source of water to ur nyawu kapitolo so if udont stop charcoal production then expect tought times ahead because… Read more »
The Most Concerned
Guest

Is this an MCP Councillor? I’ve go regrets then. Matama too much as if u have got ur own MDF….. Mixieew!

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