Man arrested for inciting violence over COVID vaccine

Covid jab

A 37-year-old man, Joseph Mkwanda, is in police custody for allegedly inciting violence at a primary school in Balaka on March 24, 2021.

Balaka Police Station Public Relations Officer, Felix Misomali confirmed the development on Thursday.

In an Interview, Misomali, said on the day at around 9 am, Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) officials from Domasi were assessing teachers' leadership skills at the school.

"Their presence rattled the pupils who fled to their homes, thinking that the visitors were to immunise them with COVID-19 vaccine.

"Misled by the children, Mkwanda led fellow parents to storm the school and beat-up the visitors and some teachers thereby causing havoc at the school," Misomali said.

He said in reaction, Phalula Police Unit officers rushed to the scene where they put the situation under control and arrested Mkwanda.

Misomali added that through communication from the Ministry of Health, the public is reminded that schools are not COVID-19 vaccination centres and the vaccine is not meant for people below 18; hence, many primary school learners are not eligible. 

Police have since warned communities against chaos and mob justice.

Mkwanda comes from Tsite Village in Sub Traditional Authority Phalula in the district.