Malawi Government will prosecute police officers who shot dead four people during protests where residents damaged a police station and houses at Kafukule in Mzimba, Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa said on Thursday.
Mussa was responding to a question from Mzimba West MP Billy Kaunda in Parliament. Kaunda wanted to know what was being done to ensure justice in the matter where the four were killed and a boy lost his arm after police opened fire on them.
Mussa said a suspect, Robert Chima, was arrested on November 21 2009 after a Mr. Potani Nyirongo reported to Kafukule Police that he had been robbed of property worth K70 000.
â€œThe police managed to recover various properties from the accused who reported ill the following day. He was taken to Kafukule Health Centre where he eventually died. The relatives became angry and damaged the police station and houses,â€ said Mussa.
He said when the situation went out of hand, four people were killed, which he said was unlawful.
â€œThis behaviour by the police is not acceptable as it does not respect the sanctity of human life. This administration respects the rule of law. There will be no cover up of police brutality. I am going to make sure that this incident is fairly and justly concluded,â€ he said.
The minister, who hailed inkosana Kwechisa Jere and her indunas for calming the situation, said the suspected police officers were arrested on November 23 2009 and their file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
â€œAs regards the boy who lost his arm, I wish to say that government sincerely regrets this incident and condemns the officers responsible for this act. Let me ask the boy to seek redress through the courts which will determine appropriate compensation,â€ said Mussa.
In an interview later, Mussa said the officers might have been operating under the shoot to kill policy, saying such loss of an arm by the boy could not be compensated adequately with monetary value.