While one end of Southern Highlands Province has been hit hard with natural disasters, the other end has created its own disaster….hundreds of people are homeless.
Houses, shops, guest houses, food gardens and properties at Lumbi village in the Imbongu electorate were raided and later set alight by police early this month.
The raid also claimed two lives.
The people of Lumbi village received a surprise attack on the morning of July 8th when truckloads of armed police raided their village giving them no time get their belongings…
The reason for the attack they said was because some youths from a nearby village attacked some police officers and got their firearms the previous afternoon.
Mendi police reacted to this the next morning with a raid on Lumbi village…leaving thousands homeless with food gardens destroyed.
Chief Solu, who has five wives and many children and grandchildren, blamed the Provincial Police Commander for failing to hold a dialogue with the community leaders before taking this action.
His children shared their experiences of the incident. Junior Solu said he only saved the clothes he wore on that morning.
His sister also described the behavior of the police on women on that day.
The raid instantly claimed the life of one elderly woman, who ran away and drowned into the fast flowing Anga River.
Another male asthmatic patient died after being displaced by the raid. His medication was burnt and he suffered an asthmatic attack and died.
The people claimed that police confiscated their valuable items while raiding, including live pigs, and took them away with them.