Malawi: Minister Chimwendo Says MBC Security Officer Confess Shooting Poly Student in 'Self-Defence'

12 January 2021

Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda has said a security officer from Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has confessed that he shot First Year Polytechnic student Blessings Nyondo in Blantyre on the night of December 21 2020.

Police has been accused that one of its cop shot Nyondo multiple times around Kwacha roundabout and the student later died in hospital.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) accused police of "outright insensitive and incoherent" to feed the nation a narrative that the late Nyondo was a robbery suspect.

HRDC threatened to mobilise Malawians for vigil at the Southern Region Police Headquarters.

But Minister Chimwendo Banda held a meeting with MBC team which included the security guard suspected to have shot late Nyondo.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the minister said the MBC security guard confessed that he shot the student twice in "self-defence."

He said the security guard explained his side of the story on what actually happened.

" What we've learnt is that an MBC vehicle, a Prado, went to pick police officers from Kanjedza to help with security and were heading towards Kwacha Roundabout on their way to MBC TV, Njamba Studio.

"Suddenly, as there was a queue and vehicles were moving slowly, the late Blessings Nyondo appeared in front of the vehicle, and later opened the door and forced himself in. Once in the vehicle, he started wresting with the police officer at the back seat to snatch a gun from him, but the police officer managed to escape with the gun," said Chimwendo Banda.

He said Nyondo then allegedly tried to snatch a gun from the MBC security guard who was on the passenger's seat in front but failed again.

The minister said as late Nyondo allegedly attempted to escape the scene, the security guard opened fire as a warning and fired again to disable the suspect.

He said the security guard suspected the student wanted to steal the vehicle.

According to the minister, police also recorded a statement from a woman who claimed the deceased snatched her handbag and was running away.

The minister said their findings were not conclusive.

HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence said the Malawi Police Service owe Malawians an explanation as to why it was possible that a suspect who had attempted to snatch a gun from a police officer was not placed under arrest and was just dumped at the hospital until he died on January 6 2021.

He warns that, as human rights defenders, they will not sit back and watch the Malawi Police Service militate against its very own mandate, which is to protect lives and property.

"The constitution of the Republic of Malawi provides for the right to life in section 16(1) and that such life shall not be arbitrarily deprived. All forms of arbitrary deprivation of life by any person, including law enforcement agents, are unacceptable in Malawi."

Nyondo was reportedly shot when he was on his way to overnight prayers at Robin's Park near the scene of the incident where he was shot.

He was a student of The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, who was staying in Chitawira Township from where he was attending weekend classes.

More From: Nyasa Times

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