Four people constructing a telecommunications tower at Lifuwu in Salima will face murder charge after torturing to death a 42 year old man Silika Auni, a resident of the area.
Auni from Mangwere Senior Chief [Bibi] Kuluunda died in a gruesome murder that four people administered over him on December 4 2015, causing commotion in the area, Police have confirmed.
Nyasa Times understands that workers for Luwenga Contractors tied Auni to a five ton lorry Registration Number DZ 3071 and pulled him for a distance of more than a kilometer.
The accused were apprehended the following day in Lilongwe, their base, and are in police custody at Salima.
Salima Police spokesperson Gift Chitowe identified the four as Blessings Chiwalo, 27, from Dick village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kuntaja in Blantyre; Elias Phiri, 31, of Mfutso village, T/A Kachere in Dedza; Joseph Kambalame, 30, of Dongo village, T/A Mulolo in Nsanje and Lyson Banda, 35, of Kufunda Village, T/A Kachere in Dedza.
“A witnesses told the police that they heard the deceased screaming as he was being pulled with the truck on the Senga-bay Lifuwu road, but could not tell what exactly was going on. Imbani Amani who lives near the road has explained that he was one of the people who heard the screams as the car was cruising but did not know what was really happening. He was with his family at a veranda when the screams were being heard.
“We parted ways with the deceased at around 7 pm and I went straight to my house which is near the road then after some times as we saw lights of a speeding car and a shouts of ‘mayo ndikufa!’, but we could not really make out what was happening only to realize that it was our relative,” said Amani an uncle to the deceased.
Sources have said that irked by the development the community threatened to destroy the tower which the four suspects were building and it had to take the intervention of the police and TNM to query the situation.
While the police are saying that they are still not aware of the motive behind the gruesome murder sources within the community where TNM has erected a new Tower to ease communication problem have indicated that the issue revolves around deal gone sour.
“It appears the workers were selling some commodity to the people around the area like diesel and building materials and it seems the victim owed them some cash and on this day since it was the contractors last day the workers felt that they will lose out and wanted to force the victim to pay what they were owed.
“But it seems that they were surprised that their action ended up in death as they thought that after pulling him for a certain distance the victim would give them the money but he died hence their leaving him behind and running to Lilongwe their base,” said a source in Salima.
Other sources claimed that the deceased is one of the people that have been stealing at the construction site, assertions the police said are tips to their investigations.
The Police however confirmed that the four are indeed workers of Liwenga Building Contractors from Lilongwe and that they were contracted by TNM Limited.
As part of boosting network for its customers, TTNM is constructing towers in various areas across the district and Lifuwu is one f them. TNM uses different contractors one of which is Luwenga from Lilongwe.
According to an eye witness, the company has been in the area for some months doing the work and everything seemed fine until on this final day when they heard of the bizarre news.
“In this case TNM and Safeguard are not connected as they are not arty to the issue. TNM are owners of the Tower while Safeguard are the ones providing security for TNM property at the Tower. It is therefore not good to associate the two companies to this gruesome murder. It is on that pretext that the community was briefed that they should desist from vandalizing the Tower or beating the guards at the Tower,” said a traditional leader in the area who was equally puzzled with the action by the four.
“That was extreme. How on earth would one do such a thing to a fellow human being. This is traumatizing and hard to believe,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :