Nkhotakota Riots After Police Fire Teargas to Disperse Traders

A tree log blocking the road A tree log blocking the road

At least seven people fainted and were put on oxygen at Nkhotakota District Hospital after Police fired teargas to disperse traders at the Boma market as a way of enforcing Covid-19 preventive measures.

Two people were rushed to the hospital from the marketplace, while six students from Nkhotakota Secondary School were taken to the hospital after suffering teargas effects, allegedly fired in their institution.

A visit to the hospital found seven people bedridden while others were reportedly being ferried from the secondary school to the health facility.

One of the victims, Patuma Ibrahim, 21 of Kamange Village Traditional Authority (TA) Malengachanzi in the district laid in agony at the district hospital.

Her Guardian told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that elder sister had knocked off from the Airtel Money business on her way home teargas was fired.

“She is asthmatic and soon after leaving the shop, she was teargassed, collapsed, and fainted,” the sister disclosed.

A teacher from Nkhotakota Secondary School who had taken her students to the hospital confirmed that several students had been affected.

An eyewitness who declined to be named said Police arrived at the market as traders were about to leave and started throwing teargas indiscriminately.

“We scampered in all directions but the teargas was too much and some collapsed and fainted,” she said.

At exactly 5:49 pm as traders were getting ready to go home in compliance to Covid-19 preventive measures which regulate time to close markets, among others, police arrived and threw teargas canisters.

Angered by Police action, residents went amok, vandalized private property, blocked roads, and looted shops which include Nkhotakota Chipiku depot.

The situation was still tense and Police were not readily available for comment as we went to press.

By Stanley Nkhondoyachepa-MANA

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Last modified on Friday, 05/03/2021

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