Police in Ntchisi have arrested a couple as primary suspects in the alleged murder of a 59-year-old man over a land dispute.
Ntchisi Police Public Relations Officer, Gladson M’bumpha confirmed to Malawi News Agency (MANA) in an interview that Kampango Frackson, 40, and his wife Judith Nyirenda, 39, are under custody for allegedly killing Ezala Meke.
The couple and the deceased hail from Mbiya Village in the area of Traditional Authority Vuso Jere in the district.
He said the couple is alleged to have attacked Meke who was working in his garden alongside his wife Pemphero Meke and his daughter on 10th August, 2018.
“Whilst working in their garden, they saw Judith cutting down trees and when they asked her why she was doing that, her husband who was hiding in a nearby bush came out and together with their son started beating Meke using an axe and a hoe handle until they left him unconscious,” M’bumpha said.
According to the Police, Meke was taken to Mwangala Health Centre where he was referred to Ntchisi District Hospital and later to Kamuzu Central Hospital. But his relations opted to take him to Daeyang Luke Hospital where he died while receiving treatment on August 15.
Postmortem conducted at Ntchisi District Hospital revealed that death was due to head injuries.
Reports indicate that the suspected couple and their son fled the scene soon after the incident and the man handed himself two days later at Dowa Police Station while his wife was arrested in Msakambewa area also in Dowa district.
Their son is still on the run.
The suspects will soon appear before court to answer murder charges.
Village headman Palamuleni of the area said in a separate interview that Kampango and Meke are cousins and have been fighting over the piece of land since 2016.
“Last year, the matter was brought to the attention of chiefs who directed that the land be shared equally among the two.
“But this did not please the suspects who kept on provoking the Meke family until this incident,” Chief Palamuleni said.
The deceased was until his death a teacher at Kalira 1 Primary School. He joined teaching in 1990, according to Ntchisi District Coordinating Primary Education Advisor, Hammex Malithano.