Malawi Police Service have pledged prompt investigation, apprehension and speedy trial of all perpetrators involved in the recent killing of four elderly people in Neno district who were accused of witchcraft.
Last week the nation woke up to a shocking story of four elderly persons being killed on allegation that they killed a 17-year-old-girl through witchcraft.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the police condemned the Neno saga, labelling it as a total deprivation of one’s life and tantamount to murder.
“It is against this background that police have moved swiftly to arrest all perpetrators of this gruesome murder and expects speedy prosecution of the case,” reads the statement in part signed by National police Press and Public Relations Officer, Nicholas Gondwa.
“Killing of suspected criminals popularly known as Mob Justice is illegal and should not be tolerated in our peaceful country, Malawi”.
Gondwa said justice cannot be obtained from mob injustice and he went to condemn the barbaric acts and killings targeting the elderly persons and suspected criminals.
He then revealed that the service was shocked with a spate of people taking the law in their own hands, noting that a month cannot go without an old man or woman been killed by angry
mob on suspicions of witchcraft.
“As police we would like to emphasize that the current Laws of Malawi do not recognize witchcraft and that calling a person a witch is an offence. Furthermore, section 16 of the Constitution of Malawi provides that every person has the right to life and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life,” added Gondwa.
Gondwa further said that the only recognized institutions that administer justice are the competent courts of law, thus, after cases have gone for trial.
“If one feels that he or she has been wronged, report such to police and other relevant authorities for action rather than taking the law into our own hands. You cannot be a complainant yourself and a judge of your own case at the same time”.
The law-enforcers have since called on the citizenry to help in curbing the malpractice by reporting incidents of mob justice to community policing structures within their communities.
The suspects in the Neno saga are expected to be charged of murder under Section 209 of the Penal