Civil society organisations (CSOs) in Mangochi have decried the rise in murder cases from five in 2018 to 11 in 2019 in the district.
The CSOs have since blamed the increase on knowledge gap in human rights, loss of trust in enforcement agencies and corruption, among others.
In an interview, National Initiative for Civic Education Trust civic education officer (Mangochi) Turner Banda observed that the district has failed to reduce murder cases because authorities do not give stiff punishment to murder criminals.
“Police take days to arrest murder suspects. Again, the suspects are released on bail. So, people have lost trust in the police; hence, they take the law into their own hands,” he said.
Banda also faulted the police for failing to mediate in conflicts among communities in the district.
“Most of the murder cases, especially those over witchcraft accusations, would have been avoided had the police intervened on time,” he said.
On his part, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Mangochi Diocese diocesan secretary Bruno Banda echoed Banda’s sentiments that the situation was a result of people losing trust in the police.
He said: “It also shows people don’t value the sanctity of life.
“However, people should be taught to explore peaceful and orderly conflict resolution mechanisms.”
Mangochi Police Station spokesperson Rodrick Maida refuted the allegations that police were involved in corruption when granting bail to murder suspects.
“We attribute the increase in murder cases to failure in obeying the law,” he said.