State Vice-President Saulos Chilima has written the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for commencement of investigations against President Peter Mutharika and acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa over crimes related to murder, rape and other forms of sexual abuse and persecution based on political affiliation between 2018 and 2020.
Chilima’s spokesperson Pilirani Phiri confirmed the development saying: “I can confirm that the vice-president has indeed written the ICC but for more talk to his lawyers”.
But, the vice-president’s lawyer Chikosa Silungwe did not pick our calls on several attempts.
The communication which has been submitted in Chilima’s personal capacity on June 10, 2020, states that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the ICC were committed under the watch of the two public officers.
In this regard, the communication cites 36 instances of systematic violence at the order of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets and police officers.
The communication also highlights what it calls gruesome acts of physical violence, the first which relates to rape, indecent assault and sexual harassment of 17 women and girls at Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu in Lilongwe District by police officers.
“The second incident relates to the arson attack (using a petrol bomb) by DPP youth cadets on a UTM office at Area 24 in Lilongwe District leading to severe injuries of six family members including children. Only two children survived while the rest of the family died in hospital after failing to recover from their injuries,” reads part of the communication.
The communication has alleged that there is an election campaign strategy of DPP, whose president is Mutharika, by which the civilian population is systematically attacked, principally based on the use of DPP youths cadets, political allies and law enforcement agents.
The communication also requests the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to investigate incidences of systematic violence specifically in the districts of Phalombe, Mulanje, Mangochi, Dowa, Lilongwe, Balaka, Chiradzulu, Nsanje, Chitipa and Rumphi.
According to Chilima, “it is appalling that no arrests have ever been made in relation to all the acts of criminality perpetrated by the DPP youth cadets and police officers”.
But reacting to the allegations on the part of the DPP, the party’s spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said UTM, led by Chilima himself, are the cause of the said atrocities.
“When desperate people are losing, they create a lot of stories. Who has created havoc in this country? Who has killed a police officer? Who has wounded people? You think all this wounding, injuries and attacks have just come by. It is them who are at the forefront, not us,” Dausi said.
Speaking on behalf of Mutharika, Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani said assuming that Chilima has indeed written the ICC, that would be very comical of him.
Kalilani argued Chilima is misleading himself into believing that he can manipulate the ICC and use it as a political tool.
“The ICC cannot be dragged into complicity as he believes. It is a known fact that the political violence Malawi is experiencing was started by himself in collaboration with the MCP President Reverend Lazarus Chakwera and the HRDC [Human Rights Defenders Coalition] in reaction to their loss in the May 2019 presidential election,” Kalilani said.
Mwapasa could not pick our calls when we tried to reach him yesterday.