Man Paralyzed After Police Shot Him with Teargas Canister
Political violence that erupted on March 21 in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe when police dispersed angry UDF supporters demanding Atupele Muluzi’s immediate release left one person paralyzed and dumb.
The police shot 20 year old Thokozani Chinganyama on the head with a teargas canister. The boy is now lying in agony at Kamuzu Central Hospital in the city.
However, Malawi police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu says police are not aware of the incident.
“We have not received that report but we will investigate and come up with a report,’ Chingwalu told zodiak online by phone Thursday.
But sister to the victim, Mrs. Mafunase Tembo told Zodiak Online that Thokozani was catching a taxi when riot police shot him with the teargas canister on the head, left a cut, and some of the smoke engulfed his head.
“He was hit along Chidzanja road in Area 22 at Biwi Triangle as he was catching a taxi. He collapsed on the spot and since that time he has not spoken a word. He has been admitted at the hospital the same day (March 21) but the situation is not improving and his right arm is now paralyzed,” said Mrs. Tembo.
She said doctors have told them that they do not have a brain specialist at Kamuzu Central Hospital hence their relation needs to be taken outside Malawi for further medical attention.
“Of course we have been told that he will go to Daeyoung Hospital to see a specialist but they he still needs further medical attention outside Malawi,” she said.
A doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity, feared for the worst if no immediate medical attention outside Malawi is provided, saying the teargas poison is slowly destroying the young boy’s brain
“Teargas poison is slowly penetrating and damaging his brain. What will happen is that if the poison covers the whole brain, he will be completely paralyzed,” said the doctor.
When zodiak online visited the victim at his hospital, he could not utter a word and could also not move the paralyzed right arm. His relatives surrounded his bed, most of them shaking heads.
On Wednesday 21 March 2011, angry UDF supporters protested and blocked Paul Kagame High way demanding the release of Mr. Atupele Muluzi arrested by police the previous Sunday after his supporters clashed with the law enforcers.
The police were stopping Mr. Muluzi from addressing rallies in the city citing volatile political situation. Angry with this, the supporters set ablaze a police station.
Meanwhile, Atupele, son to former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi, is out on police bail and will appear in court on April 19 to answer chargers of disrespecting orders from a District Commissioner.—Zodiak Online
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