A joint investigation team Inspector General (IG) of Police Rodney Jose appointed to probe a police officer suspected of defiling a 14-year-old girl in a holding cell has recommended disciplinary proceedings and prosecution for the officer.
The team—which included Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and Malawi Law Society (MLS)—has also suggested that all police officers involved in the detention of the school girl at Chisepo Police Unit in Dowa be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Code of Conduct for police officers.
In an interview yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed that the team completed the probe and presented its findings and recommendations to the IG.
He said: “We are happy with the outcome of the inquiry and, as Malawi Police Service, that is why we have quickly complied with the recommendations.”
On her part, MLS honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde said the investigations progressed well and were done “independently and timely”. She said they collected all the requisite facts in support of the case.
MPS set up a multi-sectoral probe team last month to investigate the matter after receiving a report that the girl was defiled while in police custody during the night of October 4 2018.
To ensure fairness and effectiveness in the probe, the team included representatives of MLS and MHRC.
MLS and MHRC joined Women Lawyers Association of Malawi, YouthNet and Counselling (Yoneco), Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa) and Eye of the Child in condemning police over the matter.
Initially, it was alleged that the girl was defiled by a suspect who had escaped from police custody.
In a statement issued yesterday, MPS said it was committed to pursuing the defilement case to its logical conclusion.
In March this year, another police officer at Chimwamkango Police Unit in Mchinji was arrested on suspicion that he also defiled a 14-year-old girl while in September, another police constable at Chilomoni Police Sub-station in Blantyre was also arrested for defiling a 15-year-old girl while on duty during the fifth phase of voter registration exercise.