The People’s Party (PP) has accused the Malawi Police Service of refusing to offer security at the party’s foiled regional meeting on Sunday which failed to take place following chaos that left nine people wounded.
But the police have since dismissed the accusation, claiming PP did not inform them of the meeting.
However, PP Provincial Chairperson, Sherbone Mchizi, told The Daily Times on Tuesday that police ignored efforts by the party to have security at the venue.
He said the police told them that they would only help when people got wounded.
“We went to police before the conference and they told us that they could provide security at our meeting. They told us that if they help, then it will be those who have been wounded in case they was fighting.
“But to my surprise, I am told two officers came but they disappeared when the fighting reached the climax. Even when I noticed that the situation was bad, I sent three women to report to police for help but nothing happened,” Mchizi claimed.
When asked to comment on why the officers were not deployed to calm the fracas, Mzuzu Police Officer in Charge, Effie Sato, was reluctant to comment on the matter.
“I thought you have already written that our two officers who were at the scene ran away? What else do you want to hear?” questioned Sato and cut the line. She never responded to other subsequent calls.
Currently, no arrest has been made following the fracas.
But National Police Spokesperson, Nicholas Gondwa, said the police were supposed to send officers to the scene to protect the citizens.
He said security is vital at such gatherings and the police were supposed to intervene in the fracas.
“Our job is to protect lives of citizens and we were supposed to go and provide security there. However, I am told that the PP officials did not report to Mzuzu Police Station that they [would be] holding conference. Moreover, it was internal matter within the party and that is why we did not send officers there,” said Gondwa.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Acting National Secretary, Martin Chiphwanya, has condemned the police for deliberately ignoring to carry out their main duty of protecting citizens who were fighting near their station.
Chiphwanya said the police are required to provide security to the country’s citizens without looking at their political affiliation, religion, culture or any other status.
“What the police did in Mzuzu is exposing poor security in the country. How could they fail to intervene in that serious scenario when the fighting was taking place near their station?
“I hear some officers were just watching as an entertainment episode. The police cannot watch people fighting, and then what is their responsibility? How can the country afford to have such kind of police that just sits and watches bloodshed? This means that this country is too far from security,” he said.
Members of the Acting President Uladi Mussa fought with Khumbo Kachali’s camp after they were blocked to enter into the meeting hall.
PP members belonging to interim president Uladi Mussa on Sunday fought against a faction led by former Malawi vice-president Khumbo Kachali.
The violence erupted when Kachali’s camp was barred from attending a regional conference Mussa was supposed to preside over.
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