Twenty-five-year-old Ken Banda is battling for his life at Mzuzu Central hospital (MCH) after being torched with petrol at Mazamba Forest in Mzimba District following a quarrel over cooked beans.
In an interview from his hospital bed, Banda said a group of sawyers from Tanzania, popularly known as Swahili, on Monday afternoon poured petrol and torched him after the quarrel.
Banda said he had no relish to take his nsima with; hence, decided to ask for some cooked beans from the Tanzanians.
Mzuzu Police Station deputy spokesperson Patrick Saulosi said police have arrested the suspects, namely Geoffrey Fumuku (25) and Joshua Charles (30) and two teenagers, all from Tanzania. Police said the fifth suspect bolted.
He said: “They have been charged with acts intended to cause grievous harm contrary to Section 235 of the Penal Code which attracts a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment.”
Saulosi said Banda, who was employed as a sawyer by Chawezi Manda, and the suspects work for different entities at the forest in Mzimba and separately prepare their meals known as m’memo.
He said after the Tanzanians had prepared their lunch, Banda allegedly took away their beans without permission, which angered them.
Saulosi said well wishers took Banda to Mzuzu Health Centre where he was referred to Mch.
Banda comes from Mashunga Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mzukuzuku in Mzimba.