The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) will embark on national wide citizens rallies with the first to be held at Nsundwe on Sunday, November 24.
This was disclosed in Lilongwe on Friday during the presser which HRDC held where the grouping has also endorsed the truck drivers demonstrations slated for December 3.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Ntambo said the citizens rallies are aimed at creating a platform whereby they will be engaging with the citizens on issues that are happening in the country.
“There a lot of things that are happening in this country, we have a very ruthless government machinery which must be put in check by the citizens,” he said.
On the selection of Msundwe, Ntambo said this is the area where people have experienced police torture by the police which the state is yet to address.
The police and residents of Msundwe and neighboring areas clashed as the locals blocked the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road to stop Democratic Progressive Party supporters from attending a ceremony where President Peter Mutharika was launching a US Government funded project to construct 250 secondary schools.
One police officer, Usumani Imedi, was killed and the police arrested 43 people and out of this figure 39 were been granted court bail.
Three days after Police sanctioned own investigations following allegations of torture, rape, defilement and theft by some officers at Nsundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika, calls are getting louder for the Inspector General of Police to take more action and allow an independent inquiry on the matter.
Youth and Society (Yas) penned the Inspector General, stressing the importance of an independent investigation into the alleged acts of torture, rape, defilement and theft against police officers who were on October 9, 2019 deployed at Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika areas in Lilongwe District.
In the letter, HRDC member and Yas Executive Director, Charles Kajoloweka, said the current police investigations team does not inspire confidence.
Malawi Police Service (MPS) later announced that it has instituted an inquiry team lead by Commissioner Aurene Baluwa, who will investigate the matter in a transparent and independent manner.
But Kajoloweka argued that experience has shown that police headed investigations are instituted to cover-up issues and shield officers from facing the law.
He cited a sexual assualt case involving a police officer who raped a girl in Dowa District, and the murder of Buleya Lule as some of the recent police cover-up investigations hence casting doubt on fairness and objectivity of the internal investigation headed by Commissioner Baluwa.
“We strongly doubt the credibility and impartiality of the internal investigation instituted by the Police. Experience shows that such approaches are merely cover-ups to shield officers from facing the law,” Kajoloweka said in the letter, titled ‘Demand letter on acts of torture and sexual violence in Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu by Police officers’.
YAS suggests in the letter that Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), civil society or the Ministry of Justice could be better placed to handle the investigations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :