JB receives report on July 20, charges for violators of right to life

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on events surrounding anti-government July 20 demonstrations  has presented  its findings to President Joyce Banda and  government insiders says perpetrators of the  killings will soon face charges .

“There will be prosecution of  the violators of the right to life,” government judicial officers said, adding “all forms of arbitrary deprivation of life by any person including law enforcement agents are unacceptable in Malawi.”

Receiving the report at Lakeshore state lodge, Chikoko-Bay, President Banda  described as tragic the cold blood killings in the nationwide anti-government demos.

President Banda: Receives final report

The Malawi leader said  it’s regrettable that so many innocent people lost their lives at once and killed by people who are supposed to offer them protection – police officers.

“In the history of this country this is the first time this has happened and it’s most regrettable” she President Banda.

Banda pointed out that Malawians and the international community have been waiting with baited breath on the findings of the commission.

According to chairperson of the inquiry, Apostle Timothy Khoviwa, over 170 people came forward to testify within the  eight months period.
Late president  Bingu wa Mutharika instituted a commission of inquiry which was given eight months from October last year to probe the  July 20 demonstrations.

Malawians in their large numbers took to the streets in major cities and towns to vent their anger on economic, social and governance abuses by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government.

Police used excessive force by firing live bullets at innocent protesters.

Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) also instituted its investigations which named late president Mutharika’s close ally, businessman Leston Mulli, as having sponsored government’s efforts to stop July 20 demonstrations which left at least 20 people dead.

But Mulli, who is chief executive officer of conglomerate MBL Holdings, formerly Mulli Brothers, denied sponsoring any efforts to frustrate the demonstrations.

Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu told Parliament recently that Malawians want those who authorised police to use live ammunition which led to the deaths of 19 people to be held accountable.

“They were butchered by the same guns they pay through taxes,” said Kunkuyu. “Who gave these orders?”

Added Kunkuyu: “There were two groups on the streets on 20 July, one with pangas and the other with just a voice. At the end of the day those with a voice died. Police officers within a minute spotted a criminal, judged them, gave them a death sentence and executed the sentence.”

July 20 Cimmissioners

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