Msundwe demos postponed to Jan 9
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has postponed to January 9 2020 demonstrations that were scheduled for today, over reports of rape and sexual assaulted on women in some Lilongwe areas by some police officers.
HRDC Vice-Chairperson, Gift Trapence, said they have shelved the demonstrations to allow people who are out on holiday to participate in the protests.
HRDC threatened to hold demonstrations if the law enforcers do not arrest police officers who were exposed in the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report to have raped the women and defiled girls.
The coalition gave the police a five-day ultimatum to act on the report.
“We have taken feedback from Malawians saying people are on holiday and many people will not participate in the process and that is why we had to shift it,” he said.
Apparently, HRDC officials were supposed to meet Inspector General of Police, Duncan Mwapasa, in Lilongwe yesterday but it has since been postponed to a later date.
“It was the police that invited us to the meeting. Our expectation was to discuss the Msundwe case. We also wanted to highlight some of the shortfalls that we have been seeing in the police service,” he said.
National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, yesterday said the meeting was postponed due to their busy schedule.
In the report, MHRC said some police officers raped 13 women, defiled one girl, and sexually assaulted three under-18 girls when the officers were on an operation in October 8 2019, days after an angry mob had killed Mobile Police Officer Usumeni Imedi while quelling protests.
The report added that the incident occurred in Mpingu where eight out of 17 people were sexually assaulted and raped.
MHRC recommended the immediate suspension of police officers who were involved in the barbaric acts and that they should face the law.
Recently, after the incident, HRDC visited Msundwe to encourage people not to lose hope.
In October 2019, most people in areas of Msundwe and Mpingu fell victims to the police assault following demonstrations which were reportedly aimed at blocking followers of Democratic Progress Party who were heading to attend a rally that President Peter Mutharika was to address.