Unknown thugs attacked two European Union (EU) election observers in Chikwawa on Sunday night, taking away assorted personal items including a laptop, two mobile phones and K1.6 million.
The 10 thugs, who broke into the rooms of Memories Lodge at around 2am, left one observer injured.
According to Chikwawa Police publicist Foster Benjamin, the thugs tied a security guard and receptionist with mosquito nets before entering the visitors’ rooms.
He identified the two victims as Mario Orru, 51, from Italy and Slavena Lieva, 40, from Bulgaria.
Said Benjamin: “The thugs, who were armed with pangas, hacked Orru on the head and mouth injuring him in the process. He was later treated as an outpatient at Chikwawa District Hospital.”
He said police in the district have since launched a manhunt and are urging the public to help with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects.
A press statement signed by Michela Sechi, EU Election Observer Mission press officer, said the observation of the elections continues.
“We are here to support Malawi at this important time. The well-being of our observers is a priority, so we will continue to liaise with the police in the areas where our observers are based to ensure their well-being,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further said this was the first incident to happen to the EU observers who it says have been warmly welcomed by stakeholders and the public across Malawi.