Malawi Police Service (MPS) has come under fire following alleged rape, defilement, torture and theft committed by police officers on the night of Oct. 9 in Msundwe area in the capital, Lilongwe.

The police officers stormed the area on the said night to flush out suspects who had stoned a senior police officer to death on Oct. 8 when the police attempted to quell a post-election clash between the ruling and opposition party supporters.

Both government and civil society organizations in the country have described as “disturbing and unacceptable” the firsthand testimonies by the victimized women and underage girls from the area that are making rounds on social media.

The country’s Non-Governmental Organizations Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN), and the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, have since condemned the alleged criminal acts and they have called on the police and authorities to investigate the matter.

“…The Network is disturbed with reports that some of the police officers dispatched to the areas on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, raped women, defiled self-boarding girl students, tortured people, and looted private property,” reads (NGO-GCN) statement dated Oct. 17.

The statement, which is signed by the Network’s Chairperson Barbara Banda and National Coordinator Joseph Njala, narrates in detail the alleged abuses by the police officers as recounted by the victims.

The NGO-GCN has since called upon Malawi President Peter Mutharika, the Police Chief, and Malawi human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter.

On the other hand, Principal Secretary for the ministry of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare, Esmie Kainja, has also condemned the alleged criminal acts in strongest terms.

“The ministry is horrified with the allegations circulating on social media and other media outlets that police officers were engaged in rape and attacks against women and girls at the trading centre of Msundwe and surrounding areas,” reads Kainja’s statement dated Oct. 17.

The statement has since called upon the general public to protect and respect the privacy of the alleged victims by not sharing materials that may reveal their identity.

MPS spokesperson and Senior Superintendent James Kadadzera said an inquiry has already been “promptly instituted” to investigate the alleged criminal acts.

“The inquiry team which is headed by Commissioner Mrs. Arlene Baluwa, comprises different professionals who will investigate the matter in a transparent and independent manner and based on evidence, all suspects identified will be treated according to the laws of the land without favour,” reads the police statement. Enditem


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