Some misfortunes are simply hard to believe, as Blantyre based Richard Vasco would attest. Police shot him in his right leg in 2012, and this year four years later they again shot in the same leg that it had to be amputated.
“I don’t know what really this is. I don’t understand the meaning of this. I was not disabled until February 1 this year, and here I am, one-legged man after doctors amputated my right leg from the knee,” Vasco, fighting back tears, said on Tuesday from his hospital bed at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).
Vasco said doctors told him that the leg after being shot at for the second time could only be amputated.
“I think this was meant to be. May be something worse and dangerous was going happen in my life,” Vasco, 35, a tile fitter said.
But what led to Vasco’s predicament? He was shot at on February 1 at a pub in Manase during a fracas that ensued as Blantyre City Council (BCC) officers, accompanied by police, were checking business licences.
Both BCC public relations manager Anthony Kasunda and Blantyre Police Station public relations officer Elizabeth Divala, confirmed in separate interviews on Thursday about the council operation and the shooting of Vasco.
But, while Vasco claimed that a police officer deliberately shot at him when imbibers at the pub attempted to stop the BCC team and police officers from seizing music equipment to force payment of K61 000 for renewal of the licence, Divala insisted the shooting was accidental.
She said as the team was seizing the music equipment, the owner of the pub hit one of the police officers with a broken glass bottle and in the fracas, an attempt to snatch the gun from him, resulted in an accident pulling of the trigger.
From his hospital bed, Vasco disclosed that he was first shot in the leg in 2012 when police officers were rounding up people in Manase for rogue and vagabond. He said a bullet pierced through his leg and lodged in his left hip then.