About twenty-seven University of Malawi (UNIMA) students from Chancellor College (Chanco) who submitted their names as victims of police brutality during protests over fee hike are seeking compensation from the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
Among those seeking compensation are two female students whose video circulated on social media showing them being assaulted by police officers during the protests that started on July 18, 2016.
Speaking Wednesday in an interview, Students Union of Chancellor College (Succ) President Sylvester Ayuba James said they are done collecting information and will be making submissions to the court by next week.
“We were still collecting information regarding what happened on that day, however by next week everything will be submitted to the court and we will just be waiting for a date for hearing,” he said.
Following reports of police brutality during the protests, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) through its honorary Secretary Khumbo Soko requested Succ to submit the names for purposes of bringing legal proceedings against the Police in order to obtain compensation for victimised students.
Several stakeholders instituted investigations into the matter including the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and the Malawi Police Service itself.
MHRC, a constitutionally established human rights watchdog, has apparently been carrying out a “comprehensive investigation” into the matter whose findings will form the basis for recommendations to be made to concerned authorities for redress.
Inspector general of Police Lexten Kachama ordered an inquiry into the matter; however, four months down the line, no findings have been made public.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera says the Malawi police Service is yet to come up with findings on the inquiry.
Kadadzera said several incidents happened during the protests which they are investigating.
He further said they cannot give a deadline as to when they will conclude investigations but assured the nation they are seriously looking into the matter.
“Several incidences happened on that day, a police officer was assaulted, a riffle for the Malawi police service was completely damaged, police vehicle had its windscreen smashed and a woman at Chinamwali trading centre lost her goods. We are investigating all these five incidences together,” said Kadadzera.