Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police John Nyondo has urged police prosecutors to take cases to court only when they have evidence to prove their cases and secure convictions.
Speaking on Monday at Police Training School in Blantyre when he opened a two-month course for 40 prosecutors drawn from across the country, Nyondo said police prosecutors would be considered criminals if they take matters to court with no evidence and lose.
The two-month long course, funded by Unicef to the tune of K16 million, is designed to equip the police prosecutors with prosecuting skills with a bias in gender-based violence (GBV) cases and matters where children find themselves in conflict with the law.
The DIG, who served as a prosecutor himself for a good part of his career, urged the participants, 19 women and 21 men, to know the law so as to argue their cases well and have successful prosecutions.
Said Nyondo: “Make sure you get the skills required. Go to court prepared and don’t fear lawyers. If you know you have your facts well and you have studied the file, there is no way you should fear lawyers.
“If you study the file and you realise there is no evidence to help you prosecute the matter effectively, return the file to the investigator or investigators for reinvestigation. It is bad practice to take the matter to court when there is no evidence.”
He advised the men and women in uniform to always be honest in discharging their duties and not to forget respect for the court.
Nyondo thanked Unicef for its continued support to Malawi Police Service (MPS), saying recently, the international organisation trained 40 detectives in GBV case handling and donated a motor vehicle and motor bikes to ease mobility challenges.
Unicef chief child protection officer Afrooz Kaviani Johnson, who attended the opening, said it was her organisation’s desire to see to it that cases are being professionally prosecuted.
MPS head of prosecution, Senior Assistant Commissioner Nepier Chafikana, told the participants that there is a shortage of prosecutors and the course would help to fill that gap.