MHRC drills Malawi police officers on human rights

The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) recently drilled senior Malawi Police Officers on human rights to ensure that they are not violating the rights of people in the course of their duty.

Chairperson of MHRC John Kapito explained that the purpose was to share common best practices on human rights and how the Malawi Police Service can mainstream issues to do with human rights in their operations.

He said they wanted to ensure that during their training and enforcement of the law they include human rights issues.

“While section 129 of the Constitution of Malawi establishes MHRC to investigate human rights violations, section 153 of the same Constitution establishes the Malawi Police to independently protect the public and the rights of all Malawians.

Police IG Dzonzi: Enhance capacity building on righs

“As institutional leaders in addressing human rights issues from broader perspective, it becomes important that we all look for the good of all, Malawians,” he said.

Kapito said this was as a result of a visit, which was jointly undertaken between the two public institutions in a number of police stations for needs assessment under the sponsorship of the Government of Ireland.

He said they discovered some gaps in as far as the issues to do with human rights were concerned citing failure to look at bill of rights and understand it by most police officers which is in the constitution.

“We also discovered failure by some police officers to understand the application of law, we are engaging government all institutions be it judiciary or legislature because the way our parliamentarians handle issues to do with human rights is very challenging because they lack information.

“There seems to be some progress in as far as human rights issues are concerned in Malawi because people are able to understand these issues better,” said Kapito.

Superintendent Caroline Jere, Urban Criminal Investigation Officer at Blantyre Police, said the training was very vital because they meet a lot of challenges in their duty especially on human rights because they deal with suspects who allegedly violate other people’s rights.

“We are expecting more as police and we hope that we will be assisted by government because although we have started, we are still in the learning process so that all police officers should be conversant with human rights issues,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police  Loti Dzonzi has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police responsible for service training, Willie Mwaluka, to enhance capacity building on human rights of all police officers in the Malawi Police Service.

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