Inspector General (IG) of Police Loti Dzonzi has said he is seeking legal advice from the Attorney General (AG) on the K3 billion (US$7 371 007) victims of July 20 are demanding from police.
Relations of 10 people who were shot dead in the July 20 2011 demonstrations in Mzuzu wrote the police on March 20 2014, demanding K3 billion as compensation for the deaths. They gave police a 90-day ultimatum to pay the money, failure of which they would commence legal action.
The letter signed by lawyer George Kadzipatike argues police are to blame for the deaths because they are not allowed to shoot to kill rather shoot to disable in cases where a person is escaping from lawful custody, a person is rescuing or attempting to rescue another person from lawful custody and where a person is preventing or attempting to prevent the arrest of himself or another person and the cases did not apply in the shooting of the 10.
“We find the deaths of the aforementioned deceased persons wrongful and unlawful because the circumstances under which they were shot to death do not comply with Section 30 of the Police Act Chapter 13:01 of the Laws of Malawi,” reads the letter.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Dzonzi confirmed receiving the letter of claim.
“I have referred the letter to the Attorney General for advice. He is our lawyer and I cannot say anything until we are advised,” said Dzonzi.
AG Anthony Kamanga said he was yet to get the letter.
“I understand some of the relations of the people who were killed in the demonstrations have engaged lawyers but I am yet to get the letter from the IG. As soon as I get the letter, we will start working on it to see what they are claiming and investigate on some issues raised,” said Kamanga.