2 Nkhotakota villages tussle over land

Tension is high in two villages in Nkhotakota as people of Mafowa area have threatened to deal with any person from neighbouring Mpeta Village over a piece of land.

This follows a spate of alleged beatings and attacks that the two factions have waged on each other, the latest being the hacking of three people from Mpeta a week ago.

Kulinji showing his injured fingers

The disputed land was a base for the now defunct  Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP), but government, in 1996, nodded to the fighting factions’ request to use the land for farming.

A week ago, armed with machetes and pangas, youths from Mafowa pounced on Save Kulinji, Alick Kumwenda and Talison Kamlandu, accusing the trio of uprooting their crops on the disputed land.

But Kulinji on Saturday laughed off the accusation, claiming that the neighbouring villagers incited the violence by planting crops on his piece of land.

He said: “I was on my way to the field to prepare for this year’s farming season.

“A group of youths beat me up and wanted to cut off my fingers with a machete.”

During a visit to the area on Saturday, this reporter established that tension remained high.

The Mafowa faction harassed and confiscated his camera and deleted pictures. The camera was later returned after a lengthy negotiation.

Village head Mafowa declined to comment on the accusations when contacted.

Nkhunga Police spokesperson Ignatius Esau, in an interview, said that they have not made any arrest over the fighting. He said investigations are still in progress.

However, group village head Mpeta faulted the law enforcers for delaying to arrest the alleged perpetrators of violence, saying his people are living in constant fear.

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