Acting police Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa says the police have instituted a second probe into the Msundwe rapes following the release of a Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report on the matter.
A report releasedby MHRC in Decemmber 2019 found that police raped at least eight women and sexually violated several others, including girls, during October’s post-election unrest.
Mwapasa said following the release of the MHRC report, he met 17 women who were allegedly raped and assaulted by the police officers.
“They were brought to my office by women lawyers. We even took their caution statements,” he said.
Mwapasa has however said he would not shield any police officer implicated in the matter.
He said the first report by the police on the Msundwe rapes is over and would be released in two weeks’ time.
The alleged sexual assaults were outlined in a 62-page report released by Malawi’s Ombudsman Martha Chizuma and Law Commissioner Rosemary Kanyuka.
The MHRC report says the police assaults occurred in the homes of victims and were carried out in revenge for the stoning death of a fellow police officer.
“We found out that a total of 17 women were sexually violated,” Chizuma said. “Five of them were under 18. One of the five girls was actually defiled. Eight women were raped. The rest, police found them doing their menses so were just violently beaten.”
But observers note a lack of evidence, as victims failed to obtain medical exams after the alleged assaults and were unable to identify police officers, whose faces were covered.
Meanwhile, no officers have yet been suspended or detained, and government authorities are questioning the validity of the report.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :