Thousands vent anger on police

MTAMBO—There is
no order

Thousands of Lilongwe residents Thursday demonstrated to show their anger and outrage over the Malawi Police Services (MPS)’s slow pace in investigating allegations that policemen raped, and molested women and girls in Lilongwe’s Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika areas in October.

The peaceful demonstrations, organised by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) started from Lilongwe Community Centre Ground up to MPS Headquarters in Area 30, and attracted human rights activists, politicians and representative of women lobby groups.

HRDC has since given MPS five days to conclude the investigations or face another round of demonstration.


Apart from the HRDC leadership of Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, Vice Chairperson, Gift Trapence, members Reverend Macdonald Sembereka and Billy Mayaya, other notable faces who took part in the demonstrations included NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) Chairperson Barbara Banda and politician Jessie Kabwila.

The demonstrators were, however, blocked from reaching MPS Headquarters by police officers who blocked the road at Area 10 crossroads which is some 500 metres from Area 30 main gate.

MPS Deputy Inspector General Responsible for Operations received a petition from Banda on behalf of MPS acting Inspector General, Duncan Mwapasa.


Among others, the petition has demanded the immediate conclusion and a swift arrest of the people involved.

Speaking at the end of the demonstrations, Mtambo, who wore a black t-shirt and cap, thanked residents of Lilongwe for coming out in their large numbers to protest against the behaviour of the police.

He said no one is above the law in Malawi, therefore the need for the police to arrest their fellow men in uniform who have broken the law.

“We will not relent until justice prevails in the matter. We cannot just sit down and watch the police or anybody else raping our women,” Mtambo said.

He said HRDC is expected to hold an anti-Jane Ansah nationwide demonstration on January 16.

Speaking after presenting the petition, Banda said the women movement in Malawi is outraged by the continued delays in concluding the investigations by the police.

On his part, Nyondo said the police will do everything possible to conclude the investigations within the given timeframe.

A recent report by the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) revealed that 17 women were allegedly sexually abused by the police in Lilongwe’s M’bwatalika,

Msundwe, Mpingu and Kadzoyo areas.

Heads of European Union (EU) countries in Malawi recently demanded a swift and decisive reaction over human rights violations by the police officers.

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