Law Society of Malawi action commendable: Cops involved in a lot of unbecoming behaviour for which they get away with

The decision by the Malawi Law Society to defend Chancellor College students who suffered at the hands of the overzealous police officers during the recent fees protesthike is commendable. This is the only way for the students to get justice and send the message to the police officers that they are not above the law. The police in Malawi are involved in a lot of unbecoming behaviour for which they get away with.

 MLS president John Suzi-Banda:  (left) with other lawyers Mandala Mambulasa (C)  and Felisa Kilembe (R)
MLS president John Suzi-Banda: (left) with other lawyers Mandala Mambulasa (C) and Felisa Kilembe (R)

It is good that the MLS has volunteered to defend the defenseless students against police brutality. Other interest groups and individuals should also join the MLS in prosecuting these police officers to send the message that police brutality will not tolerated in a democratic Malawi. The police should work within the ambit of the law. It sucks when people who are employed to protect the citizens are the ones breaking the law.

The police have victimized many Malawians, but they get away with their excesses because there is no one bold enough to ensure that police officers who overstep their mandate face justice. In a country where unprofessional police conduct is common, one wouldexpect management to take action against the “bad eggs”.

But police management actually shield them. This has made police officers continue with their culture of impunity.  Sometimes the police deliberately decline to commenton bad behaviour of their members. It is unfortunate that in the Chancellor College saga, police spokespersons in Zomba and national headquarters ran away from responsibility. It is does not reflect well for public relations.

It is equally unfortunate that the Inspector General of Police declined to comment on the incident. It is not good enough for the police to say they are investigating the incident when they have a video clip and the faces of the police officers can clearly be identified. What investigations are they carrying out? You investigate something unknown and not what is obvious. This is a deliberate move to let the police officers avoid justice, typical behaviour of the Malawi Police Service.

The police usually hide the culprits under the wings of “we are investigating”. But nothing comes out of the investigation as the errant police officers continue with their work, not even suspension. The police buy time and let the issue die a natural death. How many incidents of police brutality have died a natural death as time elapses? Some of us have argued that there is no way the police can investigate their own officers and expect justice. An independent and impartial body is needed.

Because of brutality, harassment and unprofessional behaviour is common, the police have lostintegrity and trust of the people. Days are gone when people would feel secure when they see the police. These days a police officer is potentially a criminal because you cannot trust them. One can be robbed or harassed.

The MLS commendable action should be extended to individuals who have suffered police brutality, but cannot afford a lawyer. It high time police officers are held accountable for their deplorable actions. The IG and Minister of Home Affairs should also talk tough against police brutality.  It is not good to keep silent.

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7 years ago

Bwanamdoko, you do not know the behavior of the police. These police officers have the same when there are demonstrations. They behave wildly. No exception! And you doubt the video clip? You think someone just made it up. If you are a lawyer, I can’t hire you because you can defeat the ends of justice. It is people like you who are making Malawi sick because you defend the obvious. What further evidence do you need about police brutality in the video? It is self- incriminating. Wake up Bwanamdoko, we are living in the age of technology. What investigation do… Read more »

7 years ago

I think blaming the police is unfair, but blame individual police officers. Every profession has bad apes, talk of doctors , lawyers who swindle clients’ money, nurses and many more. In all these professinons when some individual has behaved unprofessionly, procedures have to be followed. Dokotala akalakwisa a medical council samangofikila kumuimisa amapanga investigate, nde musathamande magazi. and you will never see the nurses council or medical council commenting before the get the truth. How authentic is the video clip you are talking about? that clip has to be collaborated, nde osaona ngati its just that , that makes a… Read more »

7 years ago

my brother these guys put on uniform which means they are one,hence it is called police brutality

be humane
be humane
7 years ago

just a word of correction, investigations is even done on what you think is obvious. Building a case requires a lot of information gathering, uncovering and analysis. that video alone is not enough, it should be supported by various data and information hence investigation. Sorry the writer just on that. But it is good that Law society is representing them. Secondly there is no Law Society of Malawi but Malawi Law Society the two does not mean the same. Investigation is not just data collection

finale wa kabaza (cargo rider)
Reply to  be humane

be human you do not follow issues though you came up here as a learned one, what the reporter is trying to say is those culprits were supposed to be suspended pending investigation he did no say they must be judged basing on the video clip….kuthamanga sikufika, inu siodzitsata man

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