Malawi Police has insisted on continuing to make arrests using the outdated provisions of the Penal Code especially the Rogue and Vagabond despite growing concerns that such law only targets the poor and marginalized citizens.
Recently, Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) noted that there is massive abuse and gaps in the law and that the poor and marginalized groups such as prostitutes have been unfairly targeted.
CHREAA has been backing calls to review some of the archaic laws such as the Penal Code which are not in tandem with the modern times.
But speaking in Tikhale Tcheru TV programme broadcasted on MBC-TV, Commissioner of Police for Southern Region, Demester Chigwenembe backed the rogue and vagabond provision, arguing law-enforcers will continue making arrests in a bid of protecting people and enhancing security.
“We will continue our sweeping exercises or rogue and vagabond as stipulated in Section 184 of Penal Code. Most people have commended us over sweeping exercises,” said Commissioner Chigwenembe.
Malawians have been complaining how law-enforcers abuse rogue and vagabond provision as those arrested are usually subjected to physical torture.
CHREAA Executive Director Victor Mhango recently proposed the need to revisit the Penal Code or train the law-enforcers on how to implement it.
Project lawyer for Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), Anneke Meerkotter supported Mhango’s views, saying “The Penal Code provisions on rogue and vagabond date back to the English vagrancy laws of previous centuries and they are out of step in the modern constitutional democracy like Malawi.”
Tikhale Tcheru TV programme continues to attract huge following due to critical and penitent issues presented. The programme’s current episodes are being sponsored by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
Tikhale Tcheru is a Malawi Police TV programme beamed on MBC-TV every Saturday noon and is repeated every Mondays.
The programme is recorded and produced by Blantyre based media agency Elephant Media Productions.