Malawi Police, city residents clash on insecurity

While Malawi President Joyce Banda came out in the open on Thursday to declare that crime rate has declined in the country, tension is mounting in the fast growing northern city of Mzuzu where residents have resorted to mob justice following police’s failure to combat crime.

This lack of confidence in the law enforcers has sparked increased incidences of mob justice with the latest being the beating to death of two suspected thieves by an angry mob at Choma area in the city.

The two deceased were allegedly caught wanting to steal maize from somebody’s house.

Street justice in Malawi: Police say don't take the law into your hands

But reacting to the development, the law enforcers have described the residents’ allegations as baseless, insisting police were working tirelessly to ensure tight security in the city around the clock.

“This is a baseless accusation against the law enforcers who are working tirelessly to ensure that there is tight security at all angles,” police say in a statement  sent  to media houses signed by its Mzuzu Police Spokesperson, Maurice Chapola.

The police further hit back at the residents saying recent media reports on the matter were a grain of exaggeration and only used the Choma incident as a yard stick for their allegations.

Last weekend police arrested 46 suspects for committing various serious crimes like murder, which included some most wanted criminals, in a sweeping exercise police have cited as a demonstration of their seriousness in checking crime.

However, police say as custodians of human rights they will not allow violations of the country’s laws through acts like mob justice and warned perpetrators of facing the long arm of the law.

“As custodians of human rights, police will not give any extra mile to any breach of law at any level as stipulated in the Constitution of the country that everyone has the right to live, hence an infringement to this is subject to arrest,” reads the statement.

Police have since appealed to the residents to desist from the act on suspects but instead work hand in hand with law enforcement agents in tackling crime so that they prevent deaths of some innocent people through mob justice.

A few months ago, another mob justice at Chibavi area in the city killed an innocent man who had come from Chitipa to visit a friend but after getting drunk failed to locate the house and ended up knocking at a wrong house where owners thought he was a thief.

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