The Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a multi-faith human rights and social watchdog, has expressed shock that clashes between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadres and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) mobilised protesters in Blantyre happened in full view of Malawi police officers.
“PAC strongly condemns the negligent attitude of the police in condoning acts of violence in their full view and let alone for throwing teargas around the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, a place that should have been spared in such circumstances,” reads a statement jointly signed by board chairperson the Very Reverend Felix Chingota and publicity secretary Reverend Father Peter Mulomole.
On child is reportedly dead apparently from teargas effects and a pregnant woman was seen carried into the hospital by some well wishers after she fainted from being choked by tear gas smoke. Several people were also reported treated with injuries and human rights activist Billy Mayaya was severely hacked in his head.
This followed police action to spray teargas in the hospital premises .
“We cannot afford to lose even a single person created in God’s image as a result of negligent acts from the police,” reads PAC statement seen by Nyasa Times .
The quasi-religious body which draws its membership from Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) observed that the police have been behaving in reckless manner for a couple of times, saying it signals “an imminent danger” especially in the current political situation.
PAC has since appealed to police to exercise full restraint and that Malawians should treat the country’s streets as highway of peace and not avenues of violent acts.
Police spokesperson for Southern Region, Ramsey Mushani said the law enforcers did what they could under the circumstances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :