Lilongwe, July 23, 2017: In an apparently strange deviation from cultural norms and tradition of respecting a dead body, residents of Chinsapo, Likuni and Chigwirizano townships on Sunday, burst into wild celebrations after news broke out that a suspected notorious criminal nicknamed Baraba, has been killed by some people.
Thousands of people came out of their houses, carrying tree branches and joined a group of people carrying the fallen criminal on a makeshift stretcher, on their way to an unknown destination, allegedly on a mission to set his body on fire, according to eyewitnesses.
Luckily, police arrived before the ‘cremation’ mission was accomplished, one eyewitness said.
One of the people who was in the group told Malawi News Agency(MANA) at the scene that the deceased was a criminal who did not deserve to live.
“He terrorized many people here, he had no regard for human life and dignity, and did not even fear the police,” he said.
Another eyewitness, who refused to be identified, looked so excited and said no person in his sound mind would be concerned with the death of Baraba ( so nicknamed an apparent reference to the killer the Jews in the Bible chose to be set free instead of Jesus; Baraba robbed and killed people without mercy.)
“Just yesterday, he beat up a minibus caller boy and nearly left him dead. He had on many occasions been involved in gun battles with the police although he was not armed himself.
He had all along been using magic such that bullet could not penetrate his body.
“Sometimes he is said to have dodged bullets fired by police; this made it difficult for them to apprehend him,” the eye witness said.
Several other people interviewed at the scene corroborated the earlier statement and expressed a sigh of relief seeing the man lying dead.
“You could not go out from 6pm for fear of him because he would rob you of your money; in worse circumstances he would kill you. His friend was killed last year and we were only waiting for this day”, said another man, who also refused to be identified.
Many people interviewed also alleged that police gave them a go ahead to hunt and bring the notorious criminal to them, dead or alive, when they had gone to report about his alleged criminal activities the previous day.
Lilongwe police spokesman inspector Kingsley Dandaula, was not aware of the incident but promised to find out and come back with details later in the day.