Independent Police Complaints Commission takes over investigations into Msundwe rape galore saga

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has taken over investigations into the sexual violence the police are alleged to have perpetrated against girls and women Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu Trading Centres in the outskirts of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

The Malawi Police Service has announced that the decision has been made in light of increasing criticism of possible bias if the Police is to investigate its own officers.

National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera

The police allegedly went on the rampage in the areas following the brutal murder of their colleague, Suwedi Iman, who was stoned to death by residents during protests.

The National Police spokesman, James Kadadzera, in a press release issued on Tuesday, said the service, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, Women Lawyers Association (WLA) and the United Nations jointly signed Terms of Reference (ToRs) on fresh investigations into alleged rape and defilement of girls and women in Mpingu and M’bwatalika areas by police officers on 8th October 2019.

There have been concerns on why the police were being given the mandate to investigate their own officers in such a sensitive matter.

The leaked report from the Malawi Police Service did not identify suspects and complainants in the matter.

But Kadadzera said the leaked report does not represent the official position of the police service on the matter. The Police reaffirms its commitment to the joint fresh investigations.

“The Service is mindful of the fact that some individuals and groups have questioned the impartiality of the Police during the previous investigations and of course the pending fresh investigations. The concern emanates from the fact that the Service is investigating its own officers,” he said.

Kadadzera said in light of this, a decision has been made to have IPCC to take over leading role in the investigation.

He assured that the police will provide support and cooperation throughout the investigation.

“The involvement of the Service will thus be restricted to the provision of support and cooperation in line with section 130 of the Police Act. This will take away the concern of actual or perceived bias by the Service,” he said.

The Commission establish in response to concerns from the public that there was a lack of independence in the way the police handle cases involving fellow officers.

IPCC was established under part 8 of the Police Act.

Police have been at the centre of criticism after their report titled ‘Investigation report on alleged sexual abuse of women and girls by police officers at M’bwatalika and Mpingu Trading Centres’ heaped the blame on the victims.

The report argues that the victims were coaxed into making the claims by some politically-connected individuals—with a lawyer, a Member of Parliament and local area politicians being the masterminds.

However, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has backed its earlier report, which implicates the police in the matter.

Local civil rights groups such as the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have in the past accused the police of shielding its own officers.

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Erik P
Erik P
8 months ago

There are good police and bad police. Problem is the bad police are protected. Police corruption is rife and they are simply a burden on tax payers, then fish for even more cash through corrupt practices. Who allowed them to investigate themselves in the first place? Waste of time and money

Samuel Chilenje
Samuel Chilenje
8 months ago

MPS has discredited the MHRC’s and MHRC likewise is discrediting the MPS’s report. It’s common sense there is no way that this two can work together this time around. The best is to institute a commission of inquiry. Let’s get to the bottom of this matter once and for all. The commission should also investigate the death of the police officer at msundwe. Who killed him? Is a question no authority is interested to know. Why so?

BigMan
BigMan
8 months ago

How can anyone trust people who daily torture, rape and murder Malawians in police cells?

They abused citizens sexually, physically and mentally. Criminals in uniform and they need to be held to account.

Its a shame that we have misogyny so deeply entrenched in our society that even journalist who should know better feel comfortable abusing victims of these police officers. Umbuli and lack of sophistication or emotional intelligence. Just opening mouths and writing crap like they are at a pub.

Banda
Banda
9 months ago

One has to question if there is a independent Police Investigation Department into Police wrong doing that they did not investigate more than 18 months ago. It is only now after Government has awarded k90 million to the alleged victims and k255 milion to their lawyers. Yet up to now no police constable has been charged or had DNA samples taken yet the Police know which constables were on duty that day.

Winiko
Winiko
9 months ago

The involved police, lawyers and judges./magistrates must go to jail for purgery. This is a mockery to Malawians. Malawians are not fools.

BigMan
BigMan
8 months ago
Reply to  Winiko

unfortunately a good number of us Malawians are complete idiots

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