At least 11 people have been arrested in connection to violent demonstrations that happened on Monday at Chitakale Trading Centre in Mulanje district.

Police Spokesperson in Mulanje Sub-Inspector Gresham Ngwira confirmed about the arrest.

“The violence followed the dispute over the football pitch between Chitakale Tea Estate Company and the community around Chitakale Trading Centre,” said Ngwira.

He said police last week started hearing facts from both sides and another meeting was scheduled for this coming Thursday.

“Before Thursday, the youths mobilized themselves and started demonstrating even before they were given permission by the District Commissioner as the law requires,” said the police PRO.

He said police tried to reason with them and stop the demonstrations but they resisted and then they started pelting stones at the law enforcers and vehicles.

“To control the situation, we fired teargas to disperse them hence the commotion and during this chaos we managed to arrest the 11,” said Ngwira.

Ngwira said the 11 are yet to be charged.

During the incident, vehicles were smashed, police unit at Chitakale vandalized, road blocked with heavy stones and wood logs, tires burnt from 11 O’clock in the morning up to 6 O’clock in the evening.

Police from Mulanje and B Division popularly known as Police Mobile Force (PMF) joined forces and used tear gas to disperse the violent crowd.

Meanwhile, Malawi Police Service has expressed concern with increasing cases of violence which result in mob justice, arson, malicious damage and theft of property.

In a statement released on Tuesday, signed by National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera, police cited the violent incidents at Chitakale in Mulanje, Chintheche in Nkhatabay and Nathenje in Lilongwe.

“All perpetrators of this violence will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” said the statement.

It says dialogue should be given a chance before resorting to violence or fighting.

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