Police in Chikwawa have arrested referee McKnight Nyekheya for allegedly killing a football player in Thyolo.
Nyekheya, 28, is suspected to have hit to death a yet-to-be identified player for Billiat FC whose team was baying for his blood.
Chikwawa Police Public Relations Officer Foster Benjamin said the incident occurred on Wednesday at Chilengo School Ground in the area of Senior Chief Mphuka during the match between Billiat and Chilengo.
In that game, which was in a one-one affair, referee Nyekheya disallowed a penalty which prompted Billiat FC players and officials to vent their anger on him.
In the ensuing chaos, the referee escaped and sought refuge in the nearby house.
Billiat players, however, went after and smoked him out in utter frustration.
“The referee picked up a stick and assaulted one player before he vanished into the maize field,” said 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 livestocks and demolishing the house belonging to the suspect’s parents.
According to Benjamin 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 being transfered to Chikwawa Police Station and 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.