Malawi Police Service (MPS) Inspector General (IG) Lexten Kachama has ordered an inquiry into last week’s use of excessive force by some of his officers on defenseless female students at Chancellor College (Chanco).
Kachama’s order comes amid widespread condemnation and calls for prosecution of the officers involved who were captured on video beating up two seemingly trapped female students within the campus of the University of Malawi (Unima) constituent college.
National Police deputy spokesperson Thomeck Nyaude said in an interview yesterday that after reviewing the video clip, the IG directed an investigation on the police officers who were evidently recognised in the clip.
He said the head of Police Professional Standards Unit (PSU), an arm of MPS that looks at the professional conduct of police officers, and his team travelled to Zomba
yesterday to carry out the investigations.
Said Nyaude: “The investigations have just started this morning [yesterday] to establish what precisely happened before action can be taken on the officers.”
The leaked video clip shows a group of police officers aggressively chasing unarmed students before confronting and ruthlessly assaulting the two helpless girls.
Students at Chanco last week held demonstrations protesting the hike in their financial contribution from K55 000/K275 000 to a minimum of K400 000.
Meanwhile, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo has accused the police of trying to suppress the matter and has called for the dismissal and prosecution of the responsible officers.
He said: “What they [officers] did is totally against their job which is to protect and promote people’s rights as stipulated in the Police Act and the country’s Constitution.”
Taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), a constitutionally established human rights watchdog, has indicated it is carrying out “comprehensive investigations” into the matter whose findings will form the basis of recommendations to be made to concerned authorities for redress.