Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) on Thursday staged a peaceful demonstration attracting thousands of protestors in Lilongwe demanding Malawi Police Service (MPS) to name, shame and prosecute its officers who allegedly raped women in and around Msundwe area along the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road in October last year.
Unlike the anti-Jane Ansah protests when violence and looting marred what were planned to be peaceful demonstrations,the Msundwe saga t protest procession was free of violence and vandalism on the designated route.
Human rights activist Timothy Mtambo, national chairperson of HRDC, whose organisation has held a series of mass demonstrations over the conduct of the May 21 Tripartite Elections, said the high turn up of the protesters is an indication that people want justice on the matter despite the Malawi police service trying to cover up.
“We demand justice on the Msundwe sexual violence perpetrated by the police,” said Mtambo.
Mtambo’s deputy Gift Trapence hailed the protesters for successfully organising the march.
The protests march started from Lilongwe community ground and will end at police headquarters in Area 30 where the rights activists will present petition to officers.
The police say they have instituted a criminal investigation on the matter.
Deputy Inspector General (Administration) John Nyondo told a news conference on Tuesday that an internal police probe report was submitted to Acting IG Duncan Mwapasa and that a fresh probe is underway.
Said Nyondo: “The inquiry submitted findings to the acting Inspector General. But the findings were presented internally and they were not made public because we are doing further investigations. Management is keen to see that investigations are done to the logical conclusion.”
In its report, tax-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Msaid it established that police officers raped 13 women, defiled one girl and sexually-assaulted three under-18 girls during their October 8 2019 operation around the area.
Meanwhile, HRDC chairperson Mtambo has blamed police for not producing public reports on circumstances that led to the deaths of suspects such as Buleya Lule in police cell, as he was being tried in a case involving a person with albinism; third year Polytechnic engineering student and political activist Robert Chasowa and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate services Issah Njaunju, among other cases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :