Parliament summons Inspector General
The Parliamentary Women’s Caucus Wednesday summoned acting Malawi Police Service Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa over reports of alleged rape, defilement and torture of women and girls by police officers at Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika areas on the outskirts of Lilongwe three weeks ago.
On October 9 residents of the three areas clashed with the police when the former blocked the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road to protest President Peter Mutharika holding a rally in the Capital City.
Police officer Usumani Imedi was killed by the protestors. In what is believed to be acts of retaliation, some police officers stormed the areas and allegedly sexually assaulted women and girls.
The Parliamentary caucus pressed Mwapasa to explain the rape allegations by police officers.
In his response, Mwapasa said the police have started serious investigations into the matter and that officers who were involved will be dealt with and will not be shielded as some quarters fear.
Apart from the incidents at Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu, the caucus bluntly told Mwapasa that the public has lost trust in the security agency and that some police officers are involved in criminal acts.
But Mwapasa assured the caucus that police has what it takes to investigate all the issues and that they will make public the results once they conclude investigations.
“There have been so many instances where police officers have misbehaved and it is the same police who investigated their friends and justice prevailed,” he said.
In an interview, the caucus’ chairperson, Jean Sendeza, said the committee wanted to find out if the Malawi Police Service is doing any investigations on the matter and map the way forward.
“As a committee we wanted to know more about the allegations that women were raped, tortured and defiled by the men in uniform. We wanted to find out if they [the police] are doing any investigations and see what we can do about it,” she said.
National Police publicist, James Kadadzera, who was part of the officers summoned at Parliament, said the team investigating the matter is making headway and will give its recommendations once done.
“Investigations are underway and the team investigating the matter is meeting the victims and eye-witnesses and they will come up with findings and recommendations,” he said.
In the morning, the caucus invited NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) on the same matter.