By Cedrick Chilabade
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has organized peaceful demonstrations aimed at calling for the immediate arrests and prosecution of all police officers who allegedly raped, defiled and sexually harassed women and girls at Nsundwe, Bwatalika and Mpingu.
According to a letter dated 23 December, 2019, which has been signed by HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his vice Gift Trapence and the regional chairperson Billy Mayaya, the demonstration will take place on Friday, 27th December in the capital Lilongwe from 8am.
The letter has been addressed to Lilongwe City Council Chief Executive, the Inspector General of police, the officer in charge of Lilongwe Police Station and Lilongwe District Commissioner informing them of the planned demonstrations.
Reads part of the letter: “This letter serves to notify you about our intention to hold peaceful demonstrations as in line with our constitutional right.”
The proposed route for the march is from Lilongwe community ground via Kamuzu procession (M1) via Paul Kagame road via Area 18 round about to Malawi Police Headquarters at Area 30.
Just recently the office of Inspector General of Malawi Police Service also issued a statement saying the service instituted its own enquiry to find out the circumstances leading to the same alleged human rights violations by some police officers in the said areas and the nation will be updated soon on the report.
The statement by the police revealed that they have recorded statements from the alleged 17 victims and all the cases on the complaints have been opened.
The police statement was issued in response to an enquiry report from Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on the alleged human rights violations by some police officers who were deployed in Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika, in Lilongwe, on 8th October, 2019.
HRDC is in the record for holding a series of demonstrations across the country including the ones aimed at forcing the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Jane Ansah, to step down for allegedly mismanaging the May 21 presidential elections.