Malawi Police Service has swallowed its pride and conceded that the suspect who died in their custody was not a criminal but a mere suspect.
Edison Msiska, 30, of Chabisika village, Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi district was in Police custody a few days and died a few hours on Sunday at Mzuzu Central Hospital after Police had brought him for treatment.
Overzealous police arrested Edison on January 25 instead of his brother Ulemu Msiska, whom relatives confirmed is a habitual criminal.
“It’s true they beat him (Edison) because he had a swollen arm and leg and bruises on his body,” Layifolo Dikishoni, a relative told Nyasa Times on Tuesday.
Msiska was a second year student at the Natural Resource College in Lilongwe.But in a media statement, the police does not explain how the deceased died or how he sustained injuries that relatives believe caused his death.
Questionably, the statement was released after relatives of the deceased put pressure on the Police including mourning at the Northern region police headquarters demanding explanation.
“Edison was not involved in armed robbery, there are no 14 cases as alleged,” Northern Region Police Headquarters through Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Isaac Maluwa said.
But relatives told the media that their relation was clobbered to death in Police custody
Maluwa said that at the time of arrest Msiska was in Mzuzu on private matters.
“We regret any inconvenience… this may have cause to the bereaved family,” Maluwa said.
He said another statement will be released “after a post-mortem has been conducted in the near future.”
Police said their side of the story earlier by Mzuzu spokesman Sergent Edwrad Longwe was “not true.”