The station officer for Chichiri Prison in Blantyre yesterday shot dead his two sons aged 23 and 29 in cold blood at his Sunnyside residence.
The killings left chief commissioner of prisons Kennedy Nkhoma, currently in Kenya, officers in Malawi Prison Service (MPS) and the Blantyre community close to the incident, shocked.
Senior superintendent Evance Chisi opened fire on his two sons around 7am with a service pistol, according to the MPS spokesperson Evance Phiri.
Chisi’s neighbours described him as a calm man and did not understand what happened to him. They hinted the matter was to do with the emotional torment the sons were allegedly causing to the family.
The two sons, shot at close range, reportedly died on the spot.
Phiri, who travelled from prison headquarters in Zomba to Blantyre to understand circumstances that led to the horrific incident, said police rushed to the scene and arrested Chisi.
Phiri said: “Neighbours informed the police and when they rushed there, he [Chisi] did not resist the arrest, he simply handed himself over. He is detained at Blantyre Police Station.”
Phiri confirmed that the eldest son, Russell, had been with the prison service at Chichiri but he had resigned.
“We have no clue what happened, police are doing their investigations. But it is sad news to us,” Phiri said.
Chisi’s colleagues in separate interviews also described him as a calm man who was instrumental in reforming prisoners. They said he also used to teach the prisoners on behavioural issues.
The mood at Chichiri Prison was sombre, in disbelief at what their colleague had done and apparently as they also ponder on the consequences their colleague was likely going to face; to serve in prison, not as an officer, but a prisoner if the courts are to find him guilty of murder charges he is likely going to face.
Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Elizabeth Divala confirmed the arrest of Chisi and the murders committed but she did not have finer details because she was not in the office.
In a telephone interview from Kenya, Nkhoma said he was yet to be informed of the incident but was shocked to learn about it.