Police arrest 25 Mchinji council protesters as Karonga demos continue

Malawi Police in Mchinji, central region borer district with Zambia,  have arrested 25 protesters who turned violent blocking roads, burning tyres and stoning council officials as they accused them  of abusing funds.

Mchinji protesters burning tyres
Mchinji protesters burning tyres

Officer in charge for Mchinji Police Station Kaitano Lupuliro said the arrested suspected violent protesters would appear in court on Wednesday after their arrest on Mondday and would answer various charges including ‘conduct likely to cause breach of peace.’

The protesters want council officials to be transparent and explain to the residents how they used K100 million meant for Mchinji Community Ground and where they have put the money which the government released for street lights at the boma.

In Karonga, businessmen and the Karonga Chapter of Malawi Economic Justice Network are on day three of their seven day vigil at Karonga District Council offices to force the council deal with the officials who allegedly abused K57 million meant for Malawi Social Action Fund 4.

“We will continue with our vigil until our demands are met,” said Wavisanga Silungwe, the spokesperson for the protesters who have pitched a tent at the council offices where they are spending nights.

They presented a petition to the district commissioner Rosemary Moyo on Monday and gave her a seven day ultimatum for responses.

Silungwe said Moyo has since told them that there will be a full council meeting on Wednesday to a dopt a resolution which will see all suspected officials in the scam arrested.

The implicated officials include the director of public works who has since been suspended and some ward councillors.

Some officials returned 270 bags of cement meant for development projects which they had stolen but the police impounded them to be exhibited in court as evidence.

The protesters also want Moyo out of her office for allegedly failing to deal with the matter decisively.

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