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Government queried on DPP supporters’ violence

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Member of Parliament for Lilongwe North East, Maxwell Thyolera, Thursday quizzed Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia, on whether the government has silently changed policy on how police officers treat mob justice in the country or not.

In a supplementary question to Chiumia, Thyolera made reference to the incident in which some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters, who were in party colours, allegedly beat up a man at Kamuzu International Airport (Kia), in full view of police officers, on Friday last week.

This was the day President Peter Mutharika launched Kia expansion project.

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Thyolera also mentioned an incident which saw a bodyguard for Leader of Opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, roughed up by DPP cadets in full view of police officers during activities marking 2017 Chilembwe Day in Chiradzulu.

Mutharika and Chakwera graced the occasion.

“Minister of Home Affairs should tell us whether there is a policy shift in terms of mob justice. A man was mercilessly beaten by DPP cadets at Kia and police officers were just watching. In Chiradzulu we also had incident where police watched the bodyguard for Leader of Opposition being beaten up. Tell us if things have changed and our police officers are tolerating mob justice,” Thyolera said.

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During the elections for Lilongwe City Mayor last month, some DPP cadets who were not happy with the results also roughed up a wrong man who they mistakenly thought was taking pictures of their caucus outside the Civic Offices.

Chiumia said there is no any policy change and what Thyolera said are just unfounded speculations and hearsays about police officers.

“We are supposed to guide our people that if anyone beats them up, they should report to police. Police officers are professionals and I don’t think they can just stand and watch people being beaten. But they cannot just guess that a person has been beaten, they need reports,” Chiumia said.

However, lawmaker for Lilongwe Msozi South, Vitus Dzoole Mwale, rose on point of order and said Chiumia should have been serious in her response as telling people to report to police when they are being beaten in the presence of police officers is not being serious.

“Is she serious Mr Speaker? Can she be serious on this one please,” Dzoole Mwale said.

Chiumia responded by saying she was not in the house to joke and her officers are not there to watch people being beaten.

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