The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has dsimmised allegations of brutality by its officers deployed to clear and bring sanity on M1 road near Malawi Institute of Management (MIM) in Lilongwe following massive protests by people living with albinism on Saturday March 9 2019 wanting to meet President Peter Mutharika on his way from Mzuzu to Blantyre.
Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) president Overstone Kondowe and 12 other people with albinism (PWAs) were injured after being assaulted by police.
A statement released by Police signed by National Police spokesperson Senior Supt. James Kadadzera and made available to Nyasa Times on Sunday claims that the officers discharged their duty professionally.
“Apam members blocked the main road and also engaged in several misconducts including damaging the gate leading to MIM offices. Police officers deployed on duty exercised maximum restraint and performed their work within the limits of the law to restore order,” reads the statement.
The statement further refutes allegations making rounds that the police officers used teargas and excessive force in trying to clear the M1 road and disperse the illegal
The police further accuses some individuals of spreading force rumours while advancing personal agenda.
“These allegations leveled against the police are but an indication of how some quarters of the citizenry bend the truth to suit their selfish interests.
“Preliminary investigations have showed that uncontrollable members of APAM on this day caused more havoc and attacked police officers in the course of removing barriers and dispersing the people blocking the road,” said Kadadzera.
According to the National Police Publicist, in the interest of order the police effected arrests on the ring leaders which were seven in number, and were charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace as well as malicious damage.
The arrest was also extended to Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) reporter John Paul Kayuni as he was executing his duty of informing Malawians on the current situation PWAs are facing.
Kadadzera said Kayuni was arrested for “obstructing police officers on duty”, saying he too has been charged accordingly.
The police further warns APAM, its members and the general public to avoid taking the law into their own hands as well as pleading with media houses that always rush to publicize news without verifying facts to desist from the tendency and exercise professionalism.
“The office of the Inspector General is always open for all media inquires. The MPS reaffirms police’s commitment to providing safety and security to all
Malawians including people with albinism,” the statement reads.
But Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) national chairperson Timothy Mtambo regretted the development, saying it is the worst scenario PWAs faced considering that they are still fighting for their right to life.
Apam members and well-wishers, including Chancellor College law students have been camping at MIM in Lilongwe in accordance with a 48-hour ultimatum given to President Mutharika so that he should meet them and provide solutions that would end killing and abduction of people with albinism.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :