Reconciliation efforts between Malawi Police Service and Msundwe residents took a turn for the better Wednesday with the cops organising a sports day at the Mchinji Road trading center in Lilongwe District.
The initiative, which saw Blue Eagles netball and football teams playing against their Msundwe counterparts, was aimed at sensitising the Msundwe community to safety and security issues.
Msundwe was a hotspot for violent incidents as Malawians demonstrated against results of the 2019 presidential election.
The violence resulted in the torching of the area’s police unit and the death of a policeman who led fellow cops in an operation to restore peace and calm.
It was also reported that law enforcers who went to investigate the death of their colleague raped girls and women in the course of their probe.
Central West Region Police Commissioner Peter Chasweka said they felt pleased to enter into repairing ties with the Msundwe community.
“Our two teams will help in rebuilding the relationship between us and the Msundwe community. Our good ties with this community broke two years ago after the unit was vandalised. We have embarked on an agenda of visiting and having meetings with members of the community as a way of rebuilding good working relationships with the community.
“We have engaged the sports teams to help boost patronage of the event considering the fact that Malawians are sports loving people,” Chasweka said.
He said they realise that police and community relations in the recent past have not been good, resulting in the vandalism of many police formations.
Police Inspector General George Kainja graced the day-long event that started with other activities at Msundwe ground.
During the netball match, Eagles beat Msundwe 28-3 while the Area 30 side also won 3-2 in football.
Eagles Football Team Coach Gerald Phiri Senior said Msundwe gave them a good test.
“It was a close contest, an average match. The hosts gave us a good run. Of course the pitch did not help matters as it was difficult to play a passing game,” Phiri said.
He said they had noticed some potential in several Msundwe players who will be given a chance to try their luck with the team.
Phiri’s side will have a rest this weekend after Super League of Malawi postponed its matches against Karonga United and Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium.