Police to probe Msundwe officers

KADADZERA—The nation will be updated on the progress and
results of the investigation

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has said it has instituted an inquiry into the alleged defilement, rape and theft by police officers at Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu Trading Centres on October 9.

This comes amid reports that some police officers took advantage of the recent fracas at Msundwe, that left one police officer dead, to sexually harass women and girls, which has left some of the victims traumatised.

In a statement released Thursday signed by National Police Public Relations Officer James Kadadzera, the police say the inquiry team will be headed by Eastern Region Police Commissioner Arlene Baluwa and will also incorporate other professionals.


But Human Rights Defenders Coalition vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said there is need for an independent commission to investigate the issue.

“We need Police Independent Commission which was recommended by the United Nations a long time ago to investigate this. There is no trust in the whole system,” Trapence said.

He then implored Malawi Human Rights Commission to investigate the issue, stressing that, otherwise, the police will be shielding its officers.


But Kadadzera said the matter will be investigated in a transparent and independent manner.

“MPS values impartiality, independence, professionalism, openness and accountability in the quest of creating a safe and secure nation. The nation will be updated on the progress and results of the investigation within the shortest period of time,” reads the statement.

Kadadzera said based on the evidence, all suspects identified will be dealt with according to the law.

MPS has since appealed to members of the general public who have reliable information on the matter to share it with the inquiry team.

“This will help to conduct thorough, speedy and factual investigation,” Kadadzera said.

Investigations by the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) also confirmed that the police sexually abused women and girls in the areas.

NGO-GCN chairperson Barbara Banda said the incident has eroded the trust and respect which the police service needs to have from the public.

She said as it stands, it appears the police officers went to the area to avenge the death of their fellow officer and not to arrest the culprits.

The Daily Times team also went on the ground and interviewed the victims of sexual assault who gave first-hand accounts of the incident.

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