Nine Malawi police officers face murder charges for July 20 killings

At least nine police officers including Sergeant Ian Kanyama, son to one of the Commissioners for Southern Region Police have been arrested in connection to the deaths of 20 people during the July 20, 2011 national wide anti-government demonstrations.

On Sunday, senior officers from Police Headquarters in Lilongwe traveled to Blantyre to arrest five police officers who were stationed at Ndirande Police Sub-station following a recommended from the Commission of Inquiry into the death of 20 people during 2011 anti-government demonstrations.

And on Wednesday, the police arrested four more police officers in connection with the matter and National Police spokesperson Kelvin Maigwa confirmed the arrest of the four.

“The police have arrested four more police officers in connection to the death of 20 people in July 2011.  They are in police custody,” said Maigwa.

Kanyama capture poining a gun at a civiiian

Kanyama captured poining a gun at a civiiian

However, he could not tell if they will nab more officers in connection to the matter.

But well placed sources have told Nyasa Times that more officers who were involved in the killing of 20 unarmed Malawians be arrested to answer murder charges.

It has also emerged that Sergeant Kanyama, who is being kept at Mchinji Police station, was redeployed to the central district of Mchinji after the July 20 killings.

The other three law enforcers were redeployed within Lilongwe City.

Maigwa identified the other  officers arrested  as Sub-Inspector Kamwala of Lumbadzi Police Station, Sergeant Makokezi of B Companyand Constable Lobo of Kawale Police Station.

The five police officers, who were arrested on Sunday in Blantyre, were expected to appear in court Wednesday to take plea. They were being kept at the same Ndirande Police Sub-station.

The officers identified as Lemekezo Mikuti, Benedicto Dzombe, Paul Mussa, Mahomed Kulusinje and Kelvin Nyirenda, all from Ndirande Police Sub-station are being represented by lawyer Lusungu Gondwe.

Twenty people died during the demonstrations after being shot at by police as unarmed citizens took to the streets to protest against the country’s then worsening economic situation and draconian laws that suppressed public liberties.

A commission of Inquiry appointed by former President late Bingu wa Mutharika, but whose results came out in July 2012 under the leadership President Joyce Banda, faulted the police for the deaths of the civilians and called for investigation and prosecution of those involved.

The inquiry also established that the police lacked sufficient non-lethal weapons which resulted in use of lethal weapons.

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