December 14, 2001

Protests after Malawi student shot by police dies

Angry Malawian youths faced police with teargas near Blantyre on Friday, December 14, after a student shot by police during a riot died from his injuries in hospital, students and hospital sources said. The student, Fanikiso Phiri, died early Friday after four days in intensive care, hospital officials said. Phiri was shot December 11, when police used live bullets to quell a riot on the main university campus in Zomba, where students had joined a Rastafarian protest over last month's death in police custody of a musician and critic of the government.

On learning of Phiri's death, students at the nearby Polytechnic school immediately rioted, blocking the main highway linking the city centre and the satellite shopping town of Limbe, 10 kilometres apart. About 100 riot police surrounded the Polytechnic campus, firing teargas at the demonstrating students.

Tuesday's riot erupted in Zomba when police tried to break up a protest by dreadlocked Rastafarians, which university students and others had joined. Scores of people were marching in protest at the mysterious death of Malawian musician Evison Matafale, who died on November 27 while in police custody. (THE NAMIBIAN)


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