President Peter Mutharika and acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa are possible candidates for international criminal prosecution and after the country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima has reported the two to the International Criminal Court (ICC), over crimes against humanity committed between 2018 and 2020.
Chilima – fervently called SKC – had warned recently that he would drag the President to The Hague court and his lawyer Dr Chikosa Silungwe has confirmed that a report has been submitted.
In the report to ICC, Chilima cites the crimes as a murder under Article 7 (1), rape and other forms of sexual violence under Article 7 91), causing severe injury under Article 7 (1) (k) and persecution based on political affiliation under Article 7 (1) (h) of the Rome Statue.
Chilima – who states that he has submitted the report in his personal capacity – said the trend of international justice was to make sure that there is no impunity for rulers or government officials.
Relying on the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) findings that police officers raped 13 women, defiled one girl and sexually assaulted three under-18 girls around Msundwe on the outskirts of Lilongwe City, Chilima has filed this in his report to ICC.
He has also raised the issue of unidentified hoodlums who set ablaze a UTM Party office in Area 24 with a petrol bomb.
Chilima is seeking The Hague court to “determine where there exists reasonable basis to initiate investigations regarding the commission of crimes against humanity in Malawi when all the facts, as provided in the communication are considered.”
The country’s estranged vice-president has said he has resorted to ICC because domestic criminal investigations or prosecutions have failed to act.
But President Mutharika through his spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani has dismissed the filing of the report it ICC by Chilima, accusing him and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president in collaboration with the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) of perpetrating political violence after the electoral defeat in 2019.