A social and governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali has called on on Malawi Police to act on Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report which extablisged that police officers raped 13 women, defiled one girl and sexually assaulted three under-18 girls in an October 8 operation around Msundwe on the outskirts of Lilongwe City, by effecting arrests cops within its rank and file.
Munthali’s comments comes after an investigation report commissioners Martha Chizuma – who is also the Ombudsman – and Mary Kanyuka released in Lilongwe, MHRC said it established that the police officers raped the women as they fled violent scenes.
MHRC conducted the investigations to identify human rights violations and to facilitate access to justice and legal remedies of the survivors of the human rights violations.
The tax-funded rights commission has recommended that the acting Inspector General of Police Duncain Mwapasa should institute criminal investigations into the matter and that the probe should target police officers deployed in Mpingu and M’bwatalika on the day.
The officers were led by superintendents Kantchowa, Chisale and Msukwa and Inspector Chipofya (all presented without their first names in the report.)
Commenting on the report, governance commentator Munthali told Nyasa Times that the investigations has only “validated” what the public held and even unearthed more disturbing practices that occurred during the saga.
“The Msundwe [police sexual exploitation[ is one of the gravest tragedy of our time and one wonders why the police toll tofate has not brought to book the perpetrators within its ranks,” said Munthali.
He added: “Government’s luke-warm approach to the matter is also distrurbing and yet this is one of the worsr form of human rights violation Malawi has ever witnessed.
“It’s unfortunate thar the State has abandoned it’s duty to protect, respect and fulfil human rights.”
The vocal Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has also asked police to arrest officers accused of raping and sexually assaulting some women in Lilongwe.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said police will make a proper response to the MHRC report.
Police instituted own investigations into the alleged Msundwe atrocities widely seen as an act of vengeance by officers after their colleague was stoned to death during a fracas in the area.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :