Angry residents on Thursday attacked Senior Chief Fukamapiri’s office in Nkhata Bay following allegations that he encroached on land belonging to Kande Health Centre.
According to Nkhata Bay Police Station spokesperson Ignatius Esau, the villagers blocked the M5 Lakeshore Road and ransacked the royal office to halt construction of Fukamapiri’s building in the clinic’s area.
“On several occasions, district health authorities and the chief have had meetings to end their differences, but they yielded no tangible results until the construction of the contentious building reached roof level.
“This angered health workers and the villagers. To force the chief to demolish the building and vacate the land, services at Kande Health Centre were temporarily suspended on October 5 2017,” he said.
This angered villagers surrounding the heath care facility who demolished the building under construction and destroyed doors, windows and official files of his office.
“They stole 300 bags of lime meant for Malata Subsidy Programme in the process,” he said.
During the fracas, the 77-year-old chief, born Witley Phiri, was injured along with Chintheche Ward councillor Esnart Nyambalo and village head Ndeleko.
They were all treated as outpatients at Chintheche Rural Hospital.
According to Esau, police have recovered 39 out the 300 bags of lime.
Over 40 000 residents are being denied access to health care services following the closure of the health centre. n