A human rights activist has asked Malawi government to urgently address the problem of insecurity in the country to prevent people from taking the law into their own hands.
The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Undule Mwakasungulaâ€™s comments on Tuesday follow an incident in Lilongwe on Thursday where an angry mob killed two suspects.
He said such incidents are as a result of peopleâ€™s frustrations on the increase of insecurity in the country.
â€œMob justices are laws of the jungle where there is no leader or whatsoever. However, they have adverse effects on the country. Government has to step up its efforts in as far as security issues are concerned by, among others, empowering institutions of security such as the police.
â€œWe have laws, leaders and systems. So, we need to enforce rule of law whereby people suspected of wrong doing are brought before the court, tried and duly sentenced,â€ said Mwakasungula.
National Police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu claimed on Sunday the two, who were killed in Falls Estate, were on a police wanted list.
â€œThe two, Peter Sitima and Ganizani Chauma, were hardcore criminals. They were terrorising the cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre. And on Thursday, we were tipped-off that they were around Falls area.
â€œWe followed them until they abandoned their vehicle and started running away. After hearing shouts, people in the area came out and beat them up using all sorts of weapons such as pangas. By the time the police arrived at the scene, the angry residents had disappeared and we took the two to Kamuzu Central Hospital where they died. In fact, what led to the discovery of these criminals was the fact that earlier, they robbed an airtime salesperson in Area 25B of over K500 000 (about $600). It is sad that they died because we wanted them alive [to answer charges],â€ claimed Chingwalu.
Sitimaâ€™s nephew, Mphatso Jonathan, on Sunday claimed his uncle was a businessperson who was selling wheat flour.
â€œOn Friday last week, we just received news of his passing on apparently after he was attacked by people in Falls Estate for suspecting him as a robber. But what we know is that he was a businessperson.
â€œWe hear he was attacked by [people driving] a Toyota Land Cruiser which we suspect belong to police,â€ he alleged.