Malawi Police Service (MPS) officer Sub Inspector Isaac Andrew Kamwala hs been acquitted by High Court in Lilongwe on charges of murder for his role in the July 20 shootings in 2011 during the nationwide anti Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government demonstrations.
Kamwala, who was stationed at Lumbadzi police,was being suspected of killing Edward Kangumbe, a charge contrary to section 209 of the penal code.
Judge Fiona Mwale said it was safe to conclude that the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Kamwala was indeed responsible for the shooting of late Kangumbe.
She observed that the State, which had counsel Oliver Gondwe from Ministry of Justice as prosecutor, failed to prove its theory that it was only Kamwala who had live ammunitions on the day of the shooting.
During the hearing, the state paraded about five witnesses, all being policemen but had no any eye withness.
However, the defence counsel Chrispin Ndalama proved that many police officers on the day had live ammunitions.
“The court also heard that the police officers had to source more live ammunitions at Kamuzu International Airport after they had used what they were provided for earlier,” said Ndalama in an interview with Nyasa Times after the ruling.
Ndalama said he will have to consult his client on the next course.
This is the second ruling on the July 20 killings.
In October 2016, the same court sentenced police officer Stewart Lobo to serve a jail term of 12 years for murdering a builder, George Thekere.
The court convicted the cop on October 4, 2016 after Justice Mwale said it was safe to conclude that the State had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Lobo was indeed responsible for the shooting of late Thekere on July 21 2011.
Lobo who was represented by Clemence Chamwenda if the Legal Aid Bureau, pleaded for a short custodial sentence but prosecutors led by Senior State advocate Tione Atate Namanja asked for lengthy jail term.
But the sentence was passed by Justice Chifundo Kachae on behalf of Judge Mwale.
“In a case in which a police officer was accused of shooting a lorry driver, and causing death to two other people, the officer was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. In this case 12 years is also appropriate. The court, therefore sentences the convict to 12 years imprisonment with hard labour,” said Kachale in his ruling.
Poor Lobo was just obeying instructions when he went shooting protestors like game
The two cases are among 42 homicide trials after a public inquiry in 2012 found that the decision by police officers to fire live bullets at demonstrators was irrational and without lawful justification.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :