Malawi Police in the southern district of Chikwawa have arrested a 28-year old man McKnight Nyekheya, one of the country’s football referees for allegedly killing a player in Thyolo, NyasaTimes has reported.
While confirming the development, Chikwawa district police spokesperson Constable Foster Benjamin said Nyekheya is suspected to have hit to death a yet-to-be identified player of one the district football club, Billiat FC whose team was baying for his blood.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at Chilengo School Ground in the area of Senior Chief Mphuka during the match between Billiat FC and Chilengo.
In that game, which was in a one-one affair, referee Nyekheya disallowed a penalty which prompted Billiat to vent their anger on him. In the ensuing chaos, the referee escaped and sought refuge in the nearby house.
Billiat players, however, smoked him out in utter frustration.
“The referee picked up a stick and assaulted one player before he vanished into the maize field,” said Constable Benjamin.
The assaulted player is reported to have died on arrival at the hospital.
Following the development, angry villagers and Billiat players descended on the suspect’s home at Makhomo Village and set his house ablaze.
They went on killing all livestock and demolishing the house belonging to the suspect’s parents.
The mob further trekked to the suspect’s business place at Mkhate Trading Centre in Chikwawa and looted items which, among others, include a refrigerator, home theatre, mattress and 4 duvet covers.
Nyekheya turned himself over to Nchalo Police Post before before transfered to Chikwawa Police Station. He is facing a murder charge.
Meanwhile, police are hunting for the suspects who demolished the houses and looted the suspect’s property.
Nyekheya comes from Makhomo Village in the area of Senior Chief Mphuka in Thyolo District.