Police blame Mzuzu politicians for July 20 killings

Maluwa: Testifying before the Inquiry

The blame game seems the latest fad in Malawi with everybody from the President to a common man in the street blaming everything on every one.

And now it’s the Police who have never accepted any wrong doing for the killing of at least 19 people during a police crackdown on demonstrations against President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government in July, and more than 275 people were arrested, they are blaming politicians for  causing the deaths.

“Police did a good job. If they were not professional hundreds of people could have died,” a Mzuzu based Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Isaac Azefe Friday Maluwa told a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, sitting in Mzuzu.

The Commission is in Mzuzu for one week and is expected to hear testimony from 41 people. Next week it will be in Karonga.

Maluwa, who is Northern Region Police Operations Officer specifically, pushed the blamed on Harry Mkandawire, Reverend Mezuwa Banda, Loveness Gondwe and Yeremiah Chihana for the deaths of the protestors  although it is officers under his direct command who did the ‘shoot-to kill’.

Maluwa, who technically was in charge of the whole operation said the quartet took advantage of the absence of  Civil Society leaders, who had gone to Mzuzu Civic Offices to chart the way forward following the injunction that was served on the day to stop the rally, to entice people to riot and loot.

“Mkandawire stood on top of a vehicle and talked to people. There after people started singing political songs not in tandem with the demonstrations. They had a Coffin and were chanting [Bingu wa Mutharika] Achoke! Achoke! Achoke!,” he said.

Maluwa  said the fact that the demonstrators had a Coffin meant that they wanted the President dead and were advocating for regime change.
But Reverend Mezuwa Banda told Nyasa Times that it is unfortunate that Police Officers were trying to implicate all people who oppose President Mutharika.

“I went there to see what was happening and then people asked me to pray for them, which I did and later left. I am not surprised because Mutharika has me in mind as an enemy and always talks about me. So his Police Officers are taking the cue from him,” Banda said.

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