A group calling itself Concerned Female Police Officers from various stations across the country have asked Inspector General (IG) of Police Rodney Jose to assure them of their security in line of duty.
The group, in a letter which is yet to be delivered to the office of the IG, has complained that they have in recent months been living and working in fear due to various physical abuses and harassment they have been facing while discharging their duties.
Citing the recent undressing of a female police officer by angry protesters on August 6 in Lilongwe, the officers say their working environment is constantly becoming hostile in the wake of the ongoing anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.
“We would like to implore on your office to engage organisers of the demonstrations to put in place mechanisms that will ensure the safety and respect of rights of female police officers discharging their duty of providing public security,” reads part of the letter sourced from Police Mobile Service B Company in Blantyre.
And speaking in a telephone interview, another officer Anita Mlambalala from Karonga complained that inasmuch as all police officers have been targets of the barbaric acts, female police officers remain the worst victims.
“Our families continue to face psychological and emotional damage, hence our call for assurance from authorities and also proper safety mechanisms,” she said.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed that the letter has not yet reached the IG but he said the existing legislation protect the law enforcers.
“There is no such letter in the office of the IG but the sure thing is that the IG and existing law, mainly the Police Act, protects all officers, whether male or female,” Kadadzera said.
Various stakeholders including Women’s Manifesto Movement (Woman) have in recent days condemned violence against women police officers and all other females in the ongoing anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations.
Woman has called on Malawi Police Service (MPS) to offer adequate moral, psychological and material support to male and female police officers managing public demonstrations.
“We also appeal that perpetrators of all forms of violence against women should face the law,” they said in a statement.
This comes after labour rights activists last month raised alarm over the prevailing labour rights violations in MPS.