Blantyre district commissioner (DC) Bennet Nkasala is embroiled in an alleged assault case of motorist Prisca Macheso, who is now demanding K30 million as compensation, correspondence between the two parties’ lawyers show.
Macheso’s demand letter filed by her lawyer Felix Tandwe says the alleged assault occurred on September 13 2022 in full view of police officers at Blantyre Police Station. The letter says the DC was later restrained by the police.
It is alleged that the issue started after Nkasala tried to intervene in a road traffic accident involving his son, Francis, and Macheso, on the Naperi Bridge in Blantyre on the same day.
Denies assault: Nkasala
According to the demand letter, reference number FT/4412/13/09/2022/PM, Nkasala, both at the scene of the accident and at Blantyre Police Station, allegedly forced Macheso to shoulder costs of damage caused on his son’s vehicle despite the fact that her vehicle has a valid insurance cover.
Reads part of the demand letter: “Our client, having insisted that she was not going to have your son’s car fixed and that you make a claim to her insurers, you charged towards her in front of traffic officers where you attempted to confiscate car keys and in the process grabbed her hand and inflicted pain on her for a long time so that she surrenders car keys to you.”
Nkasala also allegedly ordered the police to impound Macheso’s vehicle which, however, did not happen. The DC is also alleged to have threatened to deal with Macheso.
But in a correspondence letter dated September 15 2022, Nkasala’s lawyers, Mbendera & Nkhono Associates, denied the assault claims, but conceded that the DC made the proposal for Macheso to fix the car instead of her vehicle’s insurance company owing to delays in claims processing by insurance companies.
“To the surprise of our client, his proposal was received with insults and rude remarks from your client [Macheso]. Whereupon, our client [Nkasala] suggested that the police should be informed of the accident in the hope that this intervention would facilitate amicable resolution of this matter,” reads part of the correspondence.
In the correspondence, Nkasala also denies issuing a directive to police to have Macheso’s vehicle purportedly detained at the station.
The correspondence further claims that Nkasala was traumatised and stressed from the whole situation, and is demanding K40 million from Macheso.
Apart from the compensation, Nkasala is also demanding K1 million for car repairs and K600 000 for legal costs.
When contacted, lawyer representing Nkasala, Alfred Majamanda, asked that he should seek authorisation from his client if he can grant media interviews on the matter.
Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Peter Mchiza said the incident occurred and was reported to the station where Nkasala was also present.