Police in Lilongwe on Saturday night recovered a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and killed four suspected armed carjackers after exchanging fire.
The incident happened around 11pm when the Anti-Motor Vehicle Theft Unit of the Central Region Police led by their officer-in-charge Chrissy Mwale was tipped off about a vehicle registration MG 102 AD that had been stolen at the City Centre in Lilongwe.
Central Region Police deputy spokesperson Ramsy Mushani said the unit, which was on alert due to international meetings in the city, notably the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (Amecea) and Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Gender Ministers Conference, responded to the report and chased the suspected armed robbers up to Kalikuti Hotel in Biwi Township.
Said Mushani: “As officers of the unit approached Kalikuti Hotel, they saw the suspects changing number plates on the stolen vehicle. As police officers disembarked from their vehicle, the suspects started firing at them and the two sides exchanged fire.”
He said in the course of the continued exchange of fire, one suspect was shot and died on the spot.
Mushani said another suspect, who was injured, disclosed that their colleagues were expecting them near Lingadzi Inn.
The suspect identified himself as Samson James Tiyasi from Msandukira Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Tambala in Dedza. The others are yet to be identified.
Police exchanged fire with the suspects near Lingadzi River where three more were shot and taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital.
“Luckily, no police officer was injured in the process, but the three [suspects] who were taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital were declared dead on arrival,” Mushani said.
He added that following reports of insecurity in the city, police have intensified patrols in Central Region and Lilongwe.
In recent weeks, there have been increased cases of carjacking across the country. For example, two weeks ago, High Court Judge Rowland Mbvundula had his official Toyota Prado TX stolen by robbers in Blantyre whereas several businesspersons have also been attacked either around cities or in transit between the main cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.