July 20 killers should be caged –Chihana

Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, Enock Chakufwa Chihana who is also Aford’s MP for Rumphi Central says the police officer who used lethal weapons to kill 20 demonstrators on July 20 2011 should be caged, saying they don’t belong in a democratic society.

Chihana made the call in Parliament on Wednesday, stressing that the killers shouldn’t be allowed to roam the streets freely.

“Why should life of one person be more important than another’s? Why should life of Chakufwa Chihana be more important than the 20 that died on July 20? Those that killed Malawians should be locked at Maula [Prison],” said Chihana.

Chihana: Killers should not walk freely

Chihana was making his contribution to the debate on a Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report on the demonstrations which was tabled last Friday by Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, who is also the Attorney General.

The report, among other things, blames the police for the use of live ammunition which led to the death of the 20 people.

Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said justice should be served as those who commandeered the killings should be held accountable.

“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,” said Kunkuyu.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) through MP Alekeni Wodala Menyani asked government to institute a special police complaints commission to investigate police officers mentioned in the report, find an appropriate way of dealing with them and also trace who ordered the shooting with the live bullets.

Menyani  and other lawmakers  Khwauli Msiska (Karonga Nyungwe) and Halima Daudi (Dowa South East)  called for compensation to  families of those who were killed as well as other victims such as journalists who are said to have been beaten by the police.

Symon Vuwa Kaunda, DPP deputy Chief Whip of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party which was in power when the killings took place, said he needed compensation too, saying  his property was damaged during the protests.

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