The High Court in Lilongwe has set July 30-and 31, 2020 as the dates it will start hearing the case in which suspected police officers are being accused of raping and sexually assaulting women in and around Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika on the outskirts of Lilongwe.
The Women Lawyers Association (WLA) has since been granted audience for the application on 16 July 2020 and thereafter the case will proceed for hearing on the set dates.
The law enforcers alleged to have committed the crimes when they were deployed to the areas to restore peace following post-election demonstrations, which came as a result of people’s discontent over how the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had managed the 2019 tripartite elections.
MEC declared former President Peter Mutharika being declared winner in an election that was marred by irregularities.
However, the Malawi Police Service has failed to bring the suspected culprits to book to date.
This prompted the association to sue the Malawi Government, seeking redress and accountability for the violation of the rights of 18 women and girls whom the association says were subjected to violence, rape and sexual assault on 8 October, 2019.
“On 26th May, 2020, the State was ordered by the Court to file and serve Witness Statements and Skeleton Arguments within 14 days from that date. Having not done so to-date, WLA has applied to Court for a sanction and fpr striking out of the defence.
“WLA has been granted audience for that application on 16th July, 2020 and thereafter the case will proceed for hearing on 30th and 31st July, 2020. The Women Lawyers Association continues to work with the concerned women and girls to ensure that they access justice and other appropriate legal and non-legal remedies and support,” WLA public relations officer Mphatso Iphani says in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Iphani stresses that time has come for impunity for violence against women and girls must end.