By Faith Kamtambe
Inspector General (IG) of Police Rodney Jose has assured Malawians that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) will pursue allegations of assault of a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually harassed in police custody at Chisepo in Dowa.
On Thursday, Jose received a petition from the Women Lawyers Association of Malawi over the issue.
Jose said he is concerned that the girl was kept in custody for reasons that were not convincing.
Reports indicate that the minor was arrested for allegedly using abusive language after being involved in a fight at school.
Some reports say the girl was raped by ‘a police officer’ while other reports say the girl was raped by a fellow suspect.
Reading the petition that has been signed by several civil society organisations (CSOs), Women Lawyers Association of Malawi Public Relations Officer Sally Mtambo said they want the office of the IG to do an enquiry into the matter.
“Having presented our petition, we expect that they should be an action because what happened is against several laws of the land,” she said.
Other representatives of various concerned CSOs also voiced out their concerns on the matter saying the girl’s life was put at high risk and action should be taken.
Responding to the issues, Jose said, since MPS has already set up a team to investigate the matter, it will not be proper for him to be making comments on the matter before investigations are concluded.
He, however, said he is deeply concerned that the matter occurred and, of more concern, being that the girl was not supposed to be in custody as the reasons for such was not convincing.
He assured the group that once investigations are finalised, his office will take appropriate action.
“I have received the petition on behalf of all the CSOs that have taken liberty to sign the document. The issue will be pursued as we have already demonstrated our commitment,” he said.
The petition, among other things, states that action should be taken upon the officers and any other parties that were involved in processing and enabling the incarceration of the girl for alleged school disciplinary-related matters.
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