- Missing girl found alive in LL, admitted to hospital
Calm has returned to Liwonde Township in Machinga after two days of anarchy following the mysterious disappearance of a 21-year-old Form Four school girl in the area.
The student, identified as Faith Kasiya, is reported to have gone missing last Thursday on her return to school from a week-long midterm holiday.
The chaos, which resulted in a complete demolition of a house of a wealthy herbalist, has also seen police arresting 32 people from the surrounding community.
Eyewitnesses said trouble started on Monday afternoon when students from Mawira Private Secondary School in the township raided the residential compound of the herbalist, Victor Mtuwa, at Mawira Location, accusing him of hiring people to abduct their schoolmate.
The students reportedly stoned the house and smashed the windows, but police swiftly rushed to restore order to minimise the damage.
However, on Tuesday morning the students returned to the area where they were joined by irate community members who demolished the house, took away every household item before setting it on fire.
According to residents around the area, for some years now, stories have been making rounds linking the 50-year-old herbalist to unexplained missing of people.
Several people The Nation interviewed in Liwonde yesterday said the girl hired a bicycle taxi from the market heading to the school when she met her fate.
“We hear along the way the bicycle taxi operator diverted from the school route and handed her over to the abductors where she was bundled into a waiting vehicle before blindfolding her. Thereafter, she said, she did not know where she was taken to,” narrated her school’s head teacher, Lawrence Samson.
On Monday, the hostage sent several short text messages (SMSs) to her head girl, Shupekire Linda Chiputula, and the head boy Davie Sani narrating her ordeal.
The Nation was shown her first text message allegedly sent to Chiputula around 1.32am from 0885 619 711 which read: “Linda ndikuphedwatu ine” (Linda, I am being killed).
At 12:32pm she sent her another text that read “bola ndituluke ndi moyo tidzaonana” (I pray that I come out of this alive) which was followed by another at 14:38hours that read: “Anandipititsa ku Njanji [an area within Mawira Location] kuli mitengo yambiri nkumene ndinatengedwa nkundikweza m’galimoto.”
The last text message read: “Koma akumandimenya komanso sindikumadya.”
Girl found in Lilongwe
But on Tuesday, Kasiya’s uncle, Hilarious Kachiswe, who was her immediate guardian when she was in at school, told The Nation the girl had been found at her mother’s place at Mitundu in Lilongwe.
“She just appeared at her mother’s house on Tuesday around 8am looking very weak and disturbed,” explained Kachiswe.
He said the girl looked lost and could not explain where she was.
“She told her mother she does not know where she was and how she found herself in Lilongwe. She does not even know the people who took her there,” explained the uncle.
The girl is currently admitted to Mlare Mission Hospital in Lilongwe following doctors and police advice following her condition, according to Kachiswe.
Estimated K80m worth of assets lost
But speaking in a telephone interview from his undisclosed hiding place after the angry people bayed for his life, Mtuwa said he did not understand why he was being targeted.
He said property worth over K80 million, including the house, had been lost in the violence.
32 arrested, charged
Meanwhile, Machinga Police Station spokesperson Davie Sulumba said of the 32 suspects, two have been charged with arson, 27 with inciting violence while three have been slapped with conduct likely to cause breach of peace and all expected to appear court once investigations are concluded.