Malawi: Police Arrest 4 for Mob Justice - Burned Woman to Death

2 December 2020

Four men in Chiradzulu are in police custody for allegedly beating and burning to death a 60-year-old woman, Violet Beni, on suspicion that she killed her 25-year-old granddaughter, Atupe Chikumbu, with lightning.

Chiradzulu Police Detective Inspector Denis Mutala confirmed the arrest on Tuesday.

He identified the four as Takondwa Kamoto, 20, Emmanuel Adam, 19, both from Mayere Village, Isaac Chigonja, 26, from Mofati Village and Mariana Chilombo, 32, from Bokosi Village all from Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpama in the district.

He said; "On Saturday November 27, the area received rain showers accompanied by thunder storms. Granddaughter to the deceased was strike by the lightening and died on spot. The issue was not reported to police and the following day when they prepared the body for burial, one of the relatives was spiritually possessed and started saying that the lightening was sent by the grandmother together with other three children."

It is alleged that one of the children who was mentioned, a 16-year-old girl from Mofati Village was taken from her home and brought before chiefs who confirmed the story to be true and said Chikumbu would rise from the dead at around 1 PM because she was not dead and her heart was kept on the corner of her grandmother's house.

Mutala added that when people confronted the grandmother at her home she refused, but the girl insisted which lead to people searching her house for the heart which they did not find.

"That is when they brought the grandmother into the funeral house where the body was to raise it up which was not done until 1 PM," he said.

According to Mutala, the relatives failed to cool down and commotion started at around 2 PM.

"After the burial of Chikumbu, they started mercilessly beat up the old woman and when they saw that she was almost dead, they burnt her completely to death," said the detective.

He then said a report was sent to police who rushed to the scene but found the old woman already dead and investigation led to the arrest of the four who are brothers, a cousin and friend to the deceased (Chikumbu).

The four, who were arrested on Monday, will appear before court soon to answer charges of murder.

Beni hailed from Mayere Village, T/A Mpama in the district.

Meanwhile, the police are strongly condemning the barbaric act of taking the law in their own hands.

More From: Nyasa Times

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