Nine police officers escorting Malawi President Peter Mutharika’s convoy have died in a horrific road accident in the southern district of Balaka, police have confirmed.
The 9 died in Balaka district, about 260km to the south of the capital, when the vehicle they were traveling in failed to negotiate a corner and veered off the road, ramming into a tree killing eight officers on spot while one died on the way to hospital.
Balaka Police Spokesperson Moses Sauka confirmed the incident and said there was no survivor.
“I can confirm that we have lost colleagues in the accident,” Sauka, said.
“They were rushed to the district hospital but unfortunately some have died on arrival,” he said.
The incident took place when the police officers were escorting Mutharika to Machinga district where he was going to elevate a traditional leader to a senior position.
Mutharika had travelled by road from capital Lilongwe to Machinga, some 325 kilometers. The President’s vehicle was not involved in the accident.
According to the sources, the vehicle was the last car on the presidential convoy, which normally cruises between 120 and 150 kilometers per hour.
Sauka said that investigations were underway to establish the cause of the accident.
Government identified those involved in this fatal accident as :Senior Superintendent Kasowanjete, Inspector Namizinga, Sub-Inspector Mhango, driver Sergeant Gondwe, Sergeant Njikho, Sergeant Mulenga, Constable Chimenya, Constable Sekelani Chilenje and Constable Triza Mphande.
Meanwhile, President Mutharika has said he “ deeply regrets” the death of the police officers and has send the message of condolences to the bereaved familes.
“Government and Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika President of the Republic of Malawi deeply regrets the fatal road accident involving Malawi Police Service Officers that happened today, 6th December 2014 at Chiyendausiku 2 in Balaka District, involving motor vehicle registration MP 2252 Toyota Land cruiser where nine (9) officers died in the course of duty,” reads the statement issued late Saturday night by Minister of Informations, Kondwani Nankhumwa
“The President and Government extends their deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this fatal accident, the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service, all Police Officers and Civilian Staff and the nation. Government pledges its support in this trying time to the bereaved families,” the statement added.
The Saturday accident occurred barely 12 hours after a lory missed a road in Nkhatabay district and killed seven people on board and injured many.
The death of the sixteen people within 12 hours has saddened the nation and the police have since called on the public to drive safely, especially during the festive season.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :