Malawi army soldiers attack radical protesters, Police arrest 20 in HRDC demos

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers from Chirumba Barracks on Thursday attacked a group of radical protesters holding demonstration in Karonga for vandalising and looting privately owned Chipiku stores and Simama shops.

Military officers round up the violent protesters
Some of the brutally attacked protesters
Some of the brutally attacked protesters

The group of young men were among hundreds of protesters in Karonga holding a vigil at Karonga Roundabout, where they pledged to camp until Friday.  The vigil was called by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah.

The protesters reportedly attacked two MDF officers for restraining them from damaging property and blocking motorists.

One of HRDC leaders, Steve Simsokwe, confirmed that some people were attacked by MDF soldiers.

He said protesters and MDF soldiers were engaging in running battles as the security agency tried to open the M1 so that motorists can access to Songwe Border.

Video clips circulated show the army soldiers brutally attacking the men, whipping and soaking them on the ground.

One of the country’s prominent lawyers Bright Theu commented on one of the video clips on his Facebook page, saying it was military brutality.

“This level of brutality? Whither the right to dignity and the prohibition not to subject anyone to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment? The army? Or Cadets?” wrote Theu to caption the video of the attacks.

Meanwhile, Police in the north say they have arrested over 20 people who engaged in running battles with the law enforcers for aborted protests in Mzuzu.

Police spokesperson for the north Peter Kalaya said the protesters were picked in Karonga, Mzuzu and Rumphi.

“They were engaged in illegal demonstrations. They started attacking the police and MDF soldiers by pelting them with stones,” said Kalaya.

He said the running battles were in some places ignited when the protesters blocked roads.

Eye witnesses said the situation in Mzuzu and Karonga remain volatile although the police and the military soldiers are patrolling the hotspots.

HRDC chairperson for the north Happy Mhango said his organization did not sanction the protests.

“Our leaders explained yesterday that the protests have been suspended for today and tomorrow to pave way for the meeting which has been called by the Supreme Court,” he said.

He refused to call the protests illegal, saying other people might have organised them but emphasized the HRDC was not part of the organisers.

HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence confirmed that the coalition has cancelled the protests slated for Thursday and Friday in all cities to allow the leaders of the protest movement meet its legal team in Blantyre to strategise on challenging the injunction that was is restraining HRDC from holding protests in airports and borders.

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Danzo
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Danzo

Theu; You are very stupid

Mtete
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Mtete

Mark my words there won’t be anymore nonsense during the next demos. Police should have been doing this a long time ago during demos. It’s these rogues who have given HRDC a bad name. Congratulations MDF

Joloza
Guest

Mukanangomalizitsa a MDF. Mumazisiyiranji ziwanda zimenezi ndi Moyo?

Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya

What Ihave seen reminds.me of the colonial time but,at times the colonial Police was calm and less violent. Now,our own police guys are brutal and cunning.They forget that the very same people are paid by the people including Muthalika and his misguided Ministers.Where is Malawi going?Right now,the national economy is in worse situation and yet,the government continues to misuse the dwindling economy of our country.The masses of our people unite to challenge the President who doesn’t care about the people who put him in power if it is true that he was legally elected.Malawians,unite divided you fall.Mind you Muthalika doesn’t… Read more »

Godfearing Person
Guest
Godfearing Person

Iwe ndiwe mbuzi yeneko.

SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

Bight Thu is another Lawyer sowing seeds of confusion . Soldiers through out have been defending HRDC people against Dpp cadets, now these HRDC people are attacking and looting shops and attacking innocent people and when the Army tries to apprehend and discipline the thieves then he is badmouthing the Army. Even though Bright is a civilian Lawyer, he can as well as be court marshaled, called to face the Army Legal team to explain his stand. Lawyers are not above the law in fact they are supposed to be examplerary and not leading people into committing evil. He should… Read more »

chataika
Guest
chataika

what is it that these protesters would like to achieve? Mr Nundwe just do what u konw to maintain the integrity of our army bcoz it will be seen as weakness at an international level that even the civilians can beat up its soldiers. So this is not something that should be entertained,NO! Should anyone try to provoke you do everything you can to beat them so that they should know security yathu siyochita phada ayi. Enough is enough the very same protestors were in praise of you and now attacking you ndi zoona izi? And its a lesson to… Read more »

junior john mtambo
Guest

My Malawi where r we going now?

Nthiko
Guest

Koma akamenyedwa ma cadet ndiye you are happy. But if it is HRDC protesting thugs ndiye kumawamvera chisoni. Mr Theu, no one can take you seriously on this. You better school the idiots to protest peacefully as the law says, not protesting ndicholinga chofuna kumakabera anthu.

Kharupa
Guest
Kharupa

Well said.

chataika
Guest
chataika

Ndiye mbava zokhazokhazo zimenezo. Atolankhani amenyedwa no human rights body has condemned this shame indeed! Even magulu amayi ali chete? Inu a nduna a gender a Navicha and Seodi can you call for a press conference and even protest against this malpractice. This will show impartiality but if you keep quiet then it will be assumed you are partisan. I liked what you did to back Ansah so munayamba bwino please move on. I personally follow the politics in malawi carefully dzukani a nduna mukajoine Ndanga and the media fraternity in condemning this strongly please please do it now dont… Read more »

Jamax
Guest
Jamax

kkkkkkk!!!!!!!! the consequemces of Demos – now fellow Malawians look here mwini wake wa ma demo ndi Trapence, Mtambo, Chakwera ndi Chilima ma Guy amene akumakutumani kuti mukachite mademo in the end obvutika ndinuyo kkk!!! iwo ali pheeee!!! kunyumba kwawo akumwa Fanta ndi mabanja awo. Komanso kuti mufufudze mupeza kuti ma account ali ndi zindalama phwamwamwa zochokera ku ma donors – Now you should ask yourself what benefits will these EVIL HRDC and Chakwera will give you after doing the demos????? You left your wives and children at HOME without anything and you go back home with nothing kkkkk!!!!! surely… Read more »

Kharupa
Guest
Kharupa

Free from you or flee from you?

Jamax
Guest
Jamax

100% true akungofera zaeni. Achita bwino kuwakwapula. MDF Moto wambiri osatsiya please amenewa akudzolowera

adam Nthaluwa
Guest

we need tumbuka books, more of them.Northerners seem to be behind in many things. They dont know anything even about laws. Ambiri atumbuka ndi ma bulutu amangogwilitsidwa ntchito ndi tianthu topanda ntchito tomwe…nanga does it make sense to be following Mtambo and Trapence? Really? Atumbuka chonde atumbuka!!

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

So any one from the north is Tumbuka?

Nabetha
Guest
Nabetha

Shut up you empty headed tribalist go check the national literacy rates first then come and change your comment.!

Chejumo
Guest
Chejumo

Atumbuka ndi anthu ophunzila matiparty komanso ufulu oyankhula motumbwa chonchi unadza chifukwa cha mtumbuka olimba mtima chakufwa chihana from RU kuphwanya chitaganya ndani akanaima kwa ngwazi kupanda atumbuka

adk
Guest
adk

kuyesayesa kuti mwina angapezeko utsogolero

Gogo
Guest
Gogo

Malawians, we are going in a wrong direction lets wait and see!!!!!, ntchito za ma BANZI @ work, “THE SMELL OF DIVISION”