Tension is high in Nkhata Bay as people of Kachere area have threatened to ‘kill’ any person from neighbouring Kazombo Village, who steps his/her foot on their land.
This follows a fight that ensued between youths from the two villages at a beer hall on Thursday night.
The anger from youths of Kachere comes in a bid to avenge the death of 24-year-old Pilirani Mwale, who was beaten to death Thursday night by suspected village mates of Joseph Phiri from Kazombo, who survived the brawl with a deep cut in the head.
It has begot a war between the two villages, especially with those from Kachere baying for their neighbours’ blood.
Nkhata Bay Police spokesperson Kondwani James said yesterday that Mwale and Phiri started quarrelling while drinking at Kachere Trading Centre, and later fought.
However, Mwale, seemingly with anger, left the place for his home, where he got an axe to hack Phiri.
“He [Mwale] came back with an axe and hacked Phiri on the head. In retaliation, friends of Phiri assaulted Mwale and took him to an unidentified destination. When information about the disappearance of Mwale reached his relatives, they started searching for him.
“His lifeless body was found lying near the trading centre in the early hours of Friday. Police visited the scene of the crime and took the body to Kande Health Centre for postmortem, where death was said to be a result of severe loss of blood,” James explained.
When Nation on Sunday visited the area yesterday, tension remained high.
Febbie Banda, Phiri’s grandmother, said after discovering the body of Mwale, people from Kachere descended on their home, torching two houses.
“One of the houses belongs to Phiri while the other is for his friend. We thought they had come to kill us because they were heavily armed, and could not be talked to. Everything in the house of Phiri’s friend was burnt, but we salvaged a little from my grandson’s house,” she said.
Phiri himself, who had earlier in the day been discharged from the hospital could not explain what led to the fight with Mwale.
“All I remember is that when I was coming home, I felt like something hit me on the head. I thought it was a bottle, but later discovered that it was an axe. Some friends helped me remove it.
“My whole body was covered in blood, some friends tried to cover the wound with some clothes, but that did not stop the blood oozing. They had to use some plastic papers and clothes to stop the blood. I am told I later fainted as I was being taken to hospital,” he narrated the ordeal in a low voice. Phiri said he was still in great pain.
“I have been discharged, but I am not fine. I still feel dizzy, and I am very weak,” he added.
But during the burial of Mwale, who is survived by a wife and two children, all was not rosy. Some youths could be heard shouting that they will unleash terror on anyone from Kazombo who steps on their land.
Sadly, people from Kazombo access markets and health services at Kachere Health Centre and Kachere Trading Centre, meaning the tension has cut them from essential services.
Meanwhile, Traditional Authority Fukamapiri has said he will summon chiefs from the two areas to quell the situation.
“I am saddened really. The problem is youths from these two areas do not listen! It is all because of beer and chamba smoking. But I am still their leader and I am summoning their chiefs so that we deal with the matter,” he said. n