Mukhito admits police brutality, corruption in 2011

The Head of Malawi Police Service, Inspector General Peter Mukhito, has conceded that there have been rampant corruption and human rights abuses by the cops during the year 2011.

Mukhito conceded when he hosted a Christmas ball for officers at Area 30 police headquarters in Lilongwe.

Brutal

Police has been widely accused of killing about 19 people during the July 20 nationwide anti-government protests when they used lethal force. The officers were later given bonuses for such brutal killing.

Mukhito: Corrupt police

There have also been several reports of mysterious deaths of suspects in the hands of police.

Mukhito fell short of saying the police has not been a service to the nation but a brutal force.

“Even during the arrests, the way we interrogate the members of the community has not been good. We need to change,” Police chief said.

Corruption

The year also saw many police officers being charged on corruption and fraud allegations, a development Mukhito regretted.

He said there have been many complaints against officers pocketing bribes.

Police was named among those perceived to be the most corrupt public service institutions in Malawi in the Transparency International (TI) report released towards the end of the year.

And an internal study also  revealed corrupt practices among police officers.

“The survey revealed that lower ranking officers are caught in corruption especially when granting police bail. Police bail is free and we hope others stakeholders such as civil Society will help us educate Malawians on the same.”

Mukhito said the commitment to the fight against corruption should not only been seen with government alone but also with the investigative wings like police.

However, Mukhito said not all was bad for the men and women in uniform, saying they have also performed very well in crime busting.

“It has been a year where we have done much mainly in recovery of firearms,” he said.

“Generally 2011 has been a successful year,” added Mukhito who is also accused of playing a role in the murder of university student Robert Chasowa.

Blantyre ball

Elsewhere, at another police officer Christmas party, the senior cops were taunted with ‘gay’ slurs as while their juniors came to the Christmas party with spouses the bosses came without any.

Southern region police organized a Christmas party at Limbe Cathedral hall in Blantyre which invited senior officers only.

When the high table was asked to open the dancing floor, all the bosses danced without a woman. Their wives were not available.

Commissioner of police for the South, Rodney Jose, his counterpart Loti Dzonzi who represented the Inspector General, Blantyre City Council chief executive officer Ted Nandolo and former Anti Corruption Bureau director and police officer Gustav Kaliwo took to the dancing floor in single.

One couple at the high table joined them. As they danced, some patrons were heard asking “Where are their wives? Don’t they have wives? Are they gays?”

The party went on till late hours.

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