Malawi’s human rights watchdogs, the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Youth and Society (YAS), have expressed excitement with the arrest 12 police officers suspected to be behind the killing of Buleya Lule.
Lule died in police custody at the Lilongwe Police Station on 21 February 2019, just a few hours after appearing in court as one of six suspects in the abduction of Goodson Makanjira, a 14-year-old boy with albinism who hailed from Dedza.
However, there has been no progress in investigations on the matter, a development that worried human rights activists such as CHRR and YAS.
Hence, the CHRR acting executive director Michael Kaiyatsa and YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka have welcomed the arrests on Friday of 12 police officers suspected to have a hand in the murder of Lule.
Kaiyatsa and Kajoloweka, in a joint statement issued on Sunday, stated that the arrests were long overdue.
“This demonstrates the new administration’s commitment to ending impunity that undermined the rule of law in the past regime. YAS and CHRR believe that this is just one step towards ensuring that no one is above the law,” the statement reads in part.
However, the two organizations have urged urge authorities to promptly bring the detainees to court for fair trial.
YAS and CHRR have further asked the government to swiftly arrest and prosecute suspects accused of similar charges, including the murders of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) official Issa Njaunju on 2 July 2015, Malawi Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa on 24 September 2011 and Superintendent Usuman Imedi on 8 October 2019.
“We also pray for speedy justice because justice delayed is justice denied. We particularly urge authorities to expeditiously act on the Chasowa Commission of Inquiry Report and bring perpetrators to justice as some of the suspects are now serving in the Tonse Alliance-led administration. There should be no room for selective justice,” they say.
Kaiyatsa and Kajoloweka have also pleaded with the law enforcement agencies to take swift action against police officers implicated in mass rape, defilement and abuse of girls and women in Msundwe and surrounding areas.
“We also call on the Tonse administration to expeditiously investigate and arrest criminals who petro-bombed the Tambala family in Area 24, Lilongwe, on 4 May 2020. The act of terror claimed three lives–a mother, father and one kid–and left four family members with horrible burns. Authorities must provide social security and rehabilitation support to the four orphaned minors,” they conclude their statement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :