Africa-Press – Malawi. Clifford Khomba, who is accused of hitting three traffic officers last month in Blantyre, is now recovering and he has claimed that he was assaulted by police and Blantyre City Council officers.
Since the incident on 16 May, Khomba has been receiving treatment at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre and he has been unable to speak a development which resulted into many speculations regarding his condition.
While still in agony, he was discharged from QECH on 2nd June and he has been visiting Mlambe hospital for further medication since QECH was reportedly short of some of the prescribed medicines.
Apart from failing to speak, Khomba was unable to defecate and was eating through the support machine up until Tuesday this week June 7 when there seemed to be a slight improvement of his condition.
In an interview with Malawi24, Khomba who could not manage to speak loud, said though he is recovering, he still feels some pain around his waist as x-ray report from Mlambe hospital. He added that he had some torn muscles as a result of being beaten and has been given a seven days bed rest.
When asked what really happened, Khomba said he was coming from Chileka where his elder brother delegated him to deliver the car at Moneymen along Chikwawa road and upon reaching Bestobell along Chipembere Highway, he was stopped by traffic officers for speeding.
However, misunderstanding arose when Khomba told the officers that he had no money to pay for the penalty and opted to leave behind insurance papers as a sign that he will return after sourcing K10, 000, a development which irked the traffic officers whom he said started insulting him.
Khomba told Malawi24 that after some minutes of misunderstanding over the fine, he later opted to escape the insults from the traffic officers. However, when he started off the car, he was blocked by one traffic officer who wanted to confiscate the car keys.
“After failing to negotiate, I went back into my car then this, another officer followed me and wanted to confiscate my car keys. His friends prevented him but to no avail and he continued with the insults to the point of saying I was badly smelling like a dead dog.
“Then I started off the car and I wanted to reverse it. He wanted to block my way but I never stopped the car and he fell to the other side then I hit a nearby tree close to where they parked their vehicle,” says Khomba.
The victim further revealed that after the incident, some police officers together with other Blantyre city council officers who were passing by, started to assault him before he was taken to Blantyre police station at Wenela where he was also met another fate.
At the police station, Khomba complained that he was manhandled by almost every police officer who got close to him and one of the officers took away his cell phone and a wallet.
“While I was lying down on the floor and in pain, there came another officers who started pulling me saying he was taking me to the cells and on the other hand someone was squeezing my throat and others were beating me using mop handles.
“At this time, I was unable to speak. Later I saw someone who seemed to be their boss who stopped them from beating me and upon seeing my condition, he later commanded that I should be taken to the hospital and they did so but it was too harsh.
“They were just pulling me and I was thrown into their car like a dead dog, even the handcuffing itself, it was so tight. I really believe that I lost my speech because of the strangulation, I was willing to speak but it was too painful on my throat,” narrates Khomba.
Khomba has since pleaded with the police officers to give him back all his belongings which they confiscated including driving license saying they are sources of his daily bread.
Meanwhile, the lawyer who volunteered to represent the suspect, Alexious Kamangila told this publication that he is just waiting to see what charges will the Malawi Police Service level against his client, Clifford Khomba.
Victor Mhango who is the Executive Director for CHREA has since said that his organization is following the matter with keen interest and he would love to see all who had a hand on Khomba’s assault, facing the music.