Malawi police brutality slammed: Minister assures perpetrators to face law

The Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Center for Development for the People (CEDEP) have urged the Malawi government to stop police brutality, in light of the arrest and beating of BNL Times journalist Archibald Kasakura.

A photo taken by Times journalist Kasakura : A council official beating a woman in Limbe

A photo taken by Times journalist Kasakura : A council official beating a woman in Limbe

Kasakura was roughed-up and arrested on Tuesday as he was taking pictures of law-enforcers chasing street vendors in Limbe town.

The law-enforcers are jointly with Blantyre City Council removing vendors from city streets. Kasakura, who was detained at Limbe police, was granted bail after his media company’s lawyer Innocent Kalua intervened on the matter.

In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the two human rights bodies said they dearly subscribe to the relocation of vendors to their designated market places, as one way of maintaining order and hygiene in country’s city streets.

“However, that does not necessarily imply citizens ought to be subjected to various forms of human rights violations such as assault and seizure of their merchandise. It is within the professional code of conduct of the Blantyre City Council and the Police to execute such operations without trumping on the citizens’ basic rights. That’s our bottom line,” reads part of the statement co-signed by Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, executive directors for CHRR and Cedep respectively.

The rights campaigners  condemned  the Police and city council’s officials’  “deliberate attempts to conceal evidence of the ugly side of the sweeping exercise through subjecting a journalist  to brutality just to prevent him from taking pictures which would expose the human rights violations like the one showing Blantyre city council officials beating women during the exercise.”

The statement adds: “It sounds even more of a professional decay for the Police and city authorities to extend such measure brutality to journalists whose only crime, if crime, is to inform the general public of some forms of human rights violations associated with the clean-up exercise. “

CEDEP and CHRR pointed out that Police’s unprofessional misconduct potentially frightens away the media from the executing their job professionally.

“ Such primitive and barbaric conduct by the Police and Blantyre City Council officials have no space in the current democratic dispensation which embraces human rights for all including freedom of expression and that of the press,” reads the statement.

The rights campaigner urged Malawi Police to rise up and respect and protect fundamental rights and freedoms including press freedom by amongst other things desisting from any steps that would worsen their already battered image.

“We at CHRR and Cedep therefore implore the Malawi Police service to seriously and promptly track down all those political officers and Blantyre City councils who were involved in this brutality which left both the journalist and the woman wounded in the process. Swift investigations must be ensued in the saga, and the victims must be compensated accordingly.”

The groups asked police to come up with a statement of (re)assurance to the media community of their commitment to protection and respect of press freedom as enshrined in both domestic and international human rights legal frameworks.

“Otherwise, press freedom is at stake in the country, if the recent events are anything to go by, as some journalists henceforth may not freely exercise their duties in such volatile environment, a scenario if not promptly addressed which may be detrimental towards the promotion of our nascent democracy which heavily relies on a free, credible media. It’s high time the Malawi Police Service came out of its cocoon, and address this once and for all.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has registered its “distress” at the assault and detention of the reporter.

Nankhumwa gave an assurance that the perpetrators will be brought to book and face the full extent of the law.

“There is nothing that justifies the victimization of journalists in a civilized society,” he said.

Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has also condemned the incident.

Anthony Kasunda, Misa chairperson in a statement, appealed to the Police to behave in a mature and professional manner and to avoid beating and jailing reporters for merely doing their job.

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37 thoughts on “Malawi police brutality slammed: Minister assures perpetrators to face law”

  1. Andrew phiri says:

    The issue has been blown out of propotion/context…i waz an eye witness during de operation & i saw no any Police Officer roughing up any vendor or de saw called journalist but rather rescuing de women vendors who were broad day ceen challenging &showering insults to de innocent Corps. So a mabungwe employ investigators to ur NGO’s to help u b4 attacking wrong pple with wrong words. I know u already hav a wrong perception towards MPS but u stil nid it wen ur homes a insecure.

  2. munthu wanu says:

    osamanya mwano apa mwamva? ndalama zathu mukugula galimoto zitalizitali koma 4 us 2 get k1000,its not eazy.Muzaziona nthawi yanu ikubwera,mulungu sagona

  3. Malindima says:

    No 12
    So you take all Lomwes for granted that they are fools? Please don’t paint us with one brush. There is no specific tribe in Malawi that is better than the other. All are people and their characters can be defined on individual basis. They have individual DNAs that are unique from one another.

  4. Quota system says:

    Real men don’t beat women. That is a weakness.

  5. GARY DAVID says:

    ANYAMATA AMATHANYULA AKUTI CHANI AWA ZOPUSA BASI MWXIIIIIII

  6. Mwana wa Israel says:

    Beating of people should stop immediately and government should apologize on this. CHAKUFWA CHIHANA didn,t bring democracy to malawi to beat people.

  7. KUCHITEKETE says:

    A MINISTER CHONDE SIPOPANGILA CAMPAIN APA. GALU OSALUMA APHEDWE NDIOPANDA NTCHITO. KWAGWADILA MAVENDA SUNTHANI SUNNTHANI MUKUGANIZA ANGAMVE. PALIBE WAPHEDWAPO APA SO IT WAS A VERY REASONABLE FORCE USED BY THE POLICE. IF I WERE YOU I WOULD PAT DZONZI ON THE BACK AND WHISPER TO HIM CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE FOR A JOB WELL DONE!!!!!!!!….MUSAAMVELE ACHINA TRAPENCE AMATHANYULA MITU YAWO SIIGWILA BWINO NTCHITO. MUNTHU NKULUKULU OSADZIWA KOLONGA NDODO!!!

  8. Disappointed says:

    Will you journalists and CEDP and CHRR use your so called peaceful human rights blaablaaaablaa irritating statements ask the vendors to relocate. Why cant you yourself help government if you know better how to relocate the unwilling people? Nonsense!!! Why cant you offer a solution? I am beginning to take you less seriously. There has never been any constructive affrimative action or statement from you. Your statements are always reactionary and lack objectivity and independence from personal or institutional conflict of interest .

  9. M'BAYA says:

    kkkk kodi inu ngati police simmaifuna bwanji osatiuza kuti tisiye kugwira ntchito always police police whhy poeple! And this day it was the police who rescue this lady,koma sindikudabwa becoz pakangontchulidwa wapolice imakhala khani koma chikanchitikira wapolisi nde simmalakhula,now let me tell u wapolisi naeso ali ndi ufulu,ndiposo ine ndimaona ngati mutionetsa wapolisi akumenya nzimayiyu anyway TINAZOLOWERA

  10. REX MSISKA says:

    Sorry for the spelling of pigs, its not bigs. Its not to insult vendors, but to drive my point that we should not mess our cities.

    I know school fees is coming from there, but you can get more in clean and orderly places.
    I love you.

  11. REX MSISKA says:

    Vendors must also know that Government also has the right to enforce the law and sadly sometimes force is used to enforce it. What is wrong with malawians today, in the times of the so called democracy, markets or demarcated places are there?

    The behaviour is sad.Like bigs, you take them to a clean place, but they will prefer to go back to the filthy place.

    I don’t know, maybe i am wrong to suggest that other people, who want clean streets have their rights violated and the media need to reflect that and cessionalise it.

    We need to remember where we are coming from, even those of you who are in the multi party democracy born free. Ask those who were born free before the multi party democracy. They will tell you the good stories of neatness of our cities even in public toilets. Why? there was law and order. Which meant you break the law, you face the wrath of it. Lawyers also knew there was nothing they could do.

    Under multi party democracy even leaders steal in broad day light trusting that lawyers will defend them using their stolen money. By the way its your hard earned money.

    Please hold the city councils accountable for not developing the cities and not spending the money cleaning your deliberate mess. The money should go into improving your market places.
    Do that you will offer stiff competition to your super markets. You are the people that should feed the cities with fresh food.

    I know what i am talking about. People prefer driving long distances to go and buy fresh vegis, fish and fruits to better hygienic places. Their rights are violated.

    Love you vendors and all malawians.

  12. Joseph Moyo says:

    Two questions here
    Do we need need vendors to sale wares any how in town ?
    Can vendors leave streets without force ?

    1. M'BAYA says:

      yes yes i lyk the second question “can vendors do it without force?”

  13. upile kulekangana says:

    I watched the clip of this woman being beaten, but it was. The police who rescued her from the vendors who were beating her. How come its police being blamed now?

    1. Disappointed says:

      These CEDEP people are never objective and professional. I doubt if they understand what a human right is. Ma statement awo ndiongoloweza. The language is the same for each incidence.

  14. WAWA says:

    poti ndi mzimayi ndiye chonchi chanba eti ……respect our ladies even atakhala mphawi but respect them …… akakhala iwowa akuchita zimenezi mumati mahule amuna ena ndi zitsilu …….zosetera mwara wa sangalabwi… RESPECT WOMEN

  15. Objective no party affiliation says:

    Kwacha to Dollar lero inali pa 440 bank rate from 395 just last week. Ziriko liko

  16. Phwetembwe says:

    The police are unlearned JC holders most of them who hated educated people plus Peter cheated these people kuti awakwezera malipiro ndi 75% so they are venting their anger on innocent citizens. Boma la Prof. PETER Silokomera mbuli ngati inu a polisi opanda certificate that only know ho to chase thieves kolongosokanso. Sorry thus gospel truth. Pa Malawi salary yimayendera nthawi yomwe wakhala pa sukulu osati kuguba.

    1. M'BAYA says:

      sukudziwa chomwe ukunena m’bale koma pompano udziwa ANTI-POLICE

  17. Tiyeni uko mumavota nokha.

  18. Zautsiru wa polisi akamenyedwa kapena kuphedwa simulankhulapo bwanji?

  19. And people said mai was chasing away vendors from streets, can u talk now .

  20. Agalu Inu says:

    These are those lomwe fools we all know. They are back in town for the second time up until 2019. So just make yourself used to them.

  21. SHAME says:

    During the time of PP anthu a DPP mumanena kuti mai cannot run the government and the country, pano zili kwa inu ndiye zinthu zikuwonjezekela kuwonongekha with your old man Peter Munthalika. Mai Kaliati!! tayankhulanipotu apa paja inu kukonda zotokota kobasi

  22. ken says:

    why did u voter first time for DPP u news wht will happen a dog will always be a dog and will never change

  23. Tselebwede part II says:

    But when we are commenting we have to look the safetyness of the law enforcers also ,where they safe enough & who give the right to that jounerlist to take some photos

    1. gogo says:

      Lembani chichewa

  24. abitinyono says:

    Ndipo anthu amenewa ali ndi nkhaza zoopsa asamuone munthu wanyamula bucket ya samoosa akukagulitsa ku office kwao koma kumudumphila kwake kodabwitsa…… Its a shame that they don’t differentiate vendor wa mu mseu ndi iwe amene ukukagulitsa zinthu zako pa kamalo kamene umagwira ganyu. Shame on BCC , Shame on malawi Police
    Services

  25. Hagar the Horrible says:

    This is really going overboard. I was shocked when I saw this picture in the newspaper today. Why demean the woman this way? A Malawi tikuonjeza.

  26. Professional Journalist. says:

    Vending journalist ameneyo.

  27. Nkhakamila says:

    Why don’t these two so called Human Right Bodies merge into one, am sick and tired of them always coming up with a joint statement.

    1. Mr.Bambo says:

      Tactics of stealing hugely from foolish donors .

  28. Nachika says:

    This DPP Government is the Government of No Security, Fire Gutting, Tribalism, Brutality, Dismissals, Cashgating (we have seen how some DPP party officials have enriched themselves within this shortest period of stay in Govt). It seems APM is not aware of all these happenings. But God is watching.

  29. Welcome back DPP we missed your brutality big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. zex says:

    That’s the DPP government I know!!

  31. ujeni says:

    Why highlighting the beating of a jounalist more, is the journalist more important than others?

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