Riot police have reportedly shot dead two people at Mitundu in Lilongwe where there have been running battles since morning following the murder, by armed robbers, of a local businessman Marko Chapola.
The armed riot police were called in after the angry residents of Mitundu burned down a police unit and nine houses of police officers whom they want transferred from the place because of incompetence.
“Its just as good having no police here. What is the point in having a police when we cannot be protected? When our property and businesses can not be protected?
“There are about 28 police officers here and we are not getting the service required. They should go. We don’t need them anymore,” said one angry Mitundu market vendor to Zodiak Online.
Businessman Marko Chapola was reportedly murdered on the night of October 16 by armed robbers who were apparently irked by his refusal to surrender cash.
“We are definitely not going to spend the night here. The system will have to find a way of getting us and our families where we are safe,” says one police officer who is speaking to Zodiak Radio on condition of anonymity.
“The only houses that have been left untouched are that of the OC (Officer-in-Charge) and another one,” he says.
The irate mob has particularly been irked by the fact that in the previous months, a number of criminal activities have allegedly been reported to no logical avail.
The vendors argue that the police at Mitundu have failed to protect residents, business interests and others.
“There has been a spate of robberies before last night’s incident. And the police have not been that helpful.
“I guess that is what has angered these people. It’s not just this incident,” said one resident of Mitundu.
Riot police deployed to Mitundu are said to have dispersed the angry mobs and made an unspecified number of arrests. Two people have been shot and are feared dead.