Business came to a standstill yesterday at Chitipa Boma following a fracas between community members and police over suspects who surrendered themselves to the police for allegedly killing a security guard.
Like an armed force, a group of over five hundred people from Namuyemba Community, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwaulambia accompanied by their village head, carrying metal objects such as axes and pangas, marched to the police station early yesterday to force them to surrender two men in their custody suspected of killing a security guard—Patson Msukwa, 51, at Makas Trading Centre on Saturday.
Reports indicate that two unidentified men gave themselves to police after the community warned of unspecified action against those who had a hand in the killing of the guard.
An angry voice was heard from the group: “Surrender the suspects to us. We want them as soon as possible at our headquarters.”
However, things turned to worse when Chitipa Police Station officer in-charge Aubrey Kawale tried to reason with the group to go back to their respective homes.
But the group surged forward, trying to attack him.
Then, the officers fired tear gas to disperse the angry people who insisted they were not going home without the suspects.
The running battles affected some operations at the Boma, including Chitipa District Hospital located a few metres from the police station.
One of the tear gas canisters exploded behind the maternity wing.
In an interview, Chitipa Police Station spokesperson Gladwell Simwaka said the two suspects did not surrender themselves to police, but they were arrested following police investigations.
“We cannot release the suspects for their own security,” he said.