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No redress for Msundwe women

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The 12 women and six minors who Malawi Police Service (MPS) agents sexually abused in Msundwe, Lilongwe, in October 2019 are yet to be compensated by the government, over two months after the High Court ordered Capital Hill to pay them a combined K121.5 million.

However, Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pilirani Masanjala Sunday said lawyers for the victimised women— Women Lawyers Association (WLA)—could be in a better position to shed light on the situation.

Four of the 18 women, who stormed The Daily Times offices Sunday, said they were slowly losing hope.

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“We are now going into the third month after the court ordered the government to pay the compensation but there is nothing on the table up to now. We don’t know if, at all, we will be compensated,” said one of the women.

On March 9 this year, High Court Assistant Registrar Madalitso Khowe Chimwaza ordered the government to compensate the 18 women and minors within 90 days.

Among other things, the court ordered that nine women be compensated with K6.5 million each while three get K4.5 million each. The court further ordered that one minor get K10 million, another two get K8.5 million and the remaining three minors get K7.5 million each.

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In her judgement, Chimwaza said the money should be paid through the court for onward distribution to the victims, who would be required to produce relevant identification materials.

WLA President Immaculate Maluza declined to comment on the issue Sunday.

On August 13 last year, High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda ordered MPS to compensate the 18 women and to arrest 17 law enforcers implicated in the matter

The case followed the conduct of about 17 police officers who allegedly raped 13 women, defiled one girl and sexually assaulted three under-18 girls during an operation on October 8 2019 at M’bwatalika, Mpingu and Msundwe in Lilongwe.

The operation followed the death of police officer Usumani Imedi, who was stoned by angry people in Msundwe Township as they protested against then-president Peter Mutharika’s planned political rally in the area.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Homeland Security Patricia Liabuba has said the ministry would facilitate a smooth compensation of the victims in line with the court order.

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