People of Mpemba in Blantyre yesterday left the body of a 51-year-old man on a shop veranda at Mpemba Trading Centre in protest of what they termed police brutality.
The deceased, identified as Piyasoni Magombo of Katsalam’bande Village in Senior Chief Somba’s area in Blantyre, was working as a security guard at the building where his body was placed and also as a labourer in T/A Somba’s garden. The shop is said to be owned by Senior Chief Somba’s daughter.
In an interview at the scene yesterday, group village head (GVH) Beni of the area said the issue started last week when the deceased allegedly stole two maize cobs and a sweet potato from his employer’s garden.
Beni said as a village, they believe the police beat Magombo, who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QECH) a day after he was allegedly taken there.
“As a community, we are very angry about this death. We will leave the body at the shop until police come and tell us what happened,” said the village head.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Blantyre Police spokesperson Elizabeth Divala said Beni’s claims were not a true reflection of the situation.
“What we know is that the deceased and another man was indeed arrested for theft and were taken to court on Friday where they were found guilty and given a suspended sentence. The deceased did not understand the sentence and fainted on the spot. He was taken to QECH were he later died,” she said.