YONECO says police should be held liable over demo violence

Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) says the Malawi Police Service should be held accountable for selective justice and failure to manage crowds during the anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations in Blantyre.

On Wednesday police fired teargas canisters inside Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in an attempt to disperse protesters a situation which led to the loss of life of a child and fainting of a pregnant woman.

Speaking to YFM, YONECO Executive Director MacBain Mkandawire described the loss of life of a child and the fainting of a pregnant woman as unfortunate and very regrettable.

He questioned the professionalism of police officers who threw teargas canisters inside the hospital.

“The ministry of Home Affairs have to sit down and look at what kind of training do we give to our police officers to be able to manage crowds,” Mkandawire said.

During the demonstrations, suspected ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets brutally hacked Human Rights Defenders Coalition member Billy Mayaya who was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for treatment.

Mkandawire questioned the rationale by the police not to arrest Democratic Progressive Party cadets who were seen armed with weapons during the fracas with Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) protesters.

“The use of force in managing demonstrations is not the right one something that authorities have to look at it very clearly and critically,” he said.

Mkandawire appealed to government to make sure that perpetrators of the violence are arrested so that they can face the law.

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