Four people constructing a telecommunications tower at Lifuwu in Salima have been arrested for allegedly torturing to death a resident of the area.
Speaking on Tuesday, Salima Police spokesperson Gift Chitowe identified the four as Blessings Chiwalo, 27, from Dick village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kuntaja in Blantyre; Elias Phiri, 31, of Mfutso village, T/A Kachere in Dedza; Joseph Kambalame, 30, of Dongo village, T/A Mulolo in Nsanje and Lyson Banda, 35, of Kufunda Village, T/A Kachere in Dedza.
He identified the victim as Silika Auni, 42, a fisherman from Mangwere village, Senior Chief Kuluunda in Salima.
Chitowe said the four are suspected to have committed the crime on December 4 2015 and went on the run before being cornered in Lilongwe the following day.
“What we have gathered is that the four tied the deceased to a five ton lorry registration DZ 3071 and dragged for a distance of more than a kilometre,” said Chitowe.
“The witnesses said they heard the deceased screaming as he was being dragged on the Senga Bay-Lifuwu road, but could not tell what exactly was going on, ” he added.
He added that the body was found near one of the bridges on the road in a state which indicated that the deceased had been dragged on the road at a high speed.
Chitowe said the police are yet to establish the motive for the murder as the four suspects are not giving any information.
The deceased’s uncle Imbani Amani, who lives near the road, said he heard the screams as the car was cruising.
“At around 7pm, I was chatting with my family on the verandah and we saw lights of a speeding car and heard a screaming voice ‘mayo ndikufa [I am dying]!’, but we could not really recognise it and we did not follow only to discover that our relative went missing that night,” said Amani.
Angered by the death, people around the construction area wanted to destroy the tower, but police intervened to quell the situation.