Parents Seek Explanation on Shooting of Their Children

The boys were shot on their way back to Muloza primary school after collecting face masks as a requirement for entry in class The boys were shot on their way back to Muloza primary school after collecting face masks as a requirement for entry in class - pic by Hastings Jimani

A misunderstanding on the foot of Mulanje Mountain between some citizens of Lupiya village and armed forestry guards and Malawi Defence Force soldiers ended in shooting with two boys caught in bullets fire.

The running battles followed reported resistance by some of the villagers to adhere to regulations meant to protect natural resources in Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve such as trees and tree products.

The boys, Aaron Ramus, 11 and Vincent Chiphazi, 16 were on their way back to Muloza primary school after collecting face masks as a requirement for entry in class.

Village headman Lupiya told Zodiak Online he is aware of the incident.

“The armed officers were all over in my village, Namwera and Matimati villages confiscating timbers and some people started stoning them and in retaliation, the officers fired live bullets and accidentally, two bullets landed on the two innocent boys,” said VH Lupiya.

The injured children who were accidentally shot rushed to Muloza health centre before they were taken to the district hospital and later referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre for further treatment.

Now parents of the children demand explanation from authorities on what exactly happened.

Christopher Kulijinga who is elder brother to Vincent is also seeking intervention from child rights bodies.

“The children let alone their relations are not involved in any illegal forest harvesting to warrant the shots, government owe us an explanation on the shooting of the boys,” said Kulijinga.

Aaron’s father, Tonnex Ramus told Zodiak Online that there has to be appropriate compensation to his son.

“Am not sure if my son will be able to use some of his limbs,” worried Ramus.

Malawi Defence Force Spokesperson Major Calvin Mlelemba reserved his comment on the incident until he has the facts on what happened.

But police in Mulanje have confirmed the shooting.

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