Malawi Police Service says there will be a fresh probe into allegations of rape and other acts of brutality allegedly perpetrated by police officers on women at Msundwe and surrounding places in Lilongwe in 2019.
In an interview yesterday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said earlier investigations failed to identify peepetrators of the alleged rape and assault of women.
He said no arrest has been made and no police officer has been identified in connection with the alleged rape and assault of the victims.
Kadadzera said: “The investigations that were carried earlier did not trace the suspects. So, fresh investigations will be instituted to trace the culprits.”
He said the investigations will be conducted in partnership with the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), and Women Lawyers Association.
The incidents at Msundwe, Mpingu and Mbwatalika trading centres on the outskirts of Lilongwe City followed violence that ensued during the post-May 21 2019 presidential election.
Police allegedly went on the rampage in the areas following the brutal murder of their colleague, Suwedi Iman, who was stoned to death by residents during protests.
In its investigation, MHRC found that police engaged in arbitrary arrests, beatings and rape of the victims. The investigation led to the court action by the women lawyers.
On Monday, government paid out K130 million as compensation to the victims.
Ministry of Homeland Security which earlier committed to ensure that police officers behind the rape and assault, are prosecuted yesterday said the Independent Complaints Police Commission was better placed to state progress on the issue.
But Human Rights Defenders Coalition chairperson Gift Trapence yesterday accused the police of shielding the officers involved.
He said there is no way the police could fail to identify those involved.
“Why are they failing to investigate their own officers when they have information in terms of who were on duty [that day]. We welcome the Women Lawyers investigations. But this it will be difficult when we have police that is shielding its own officers,” he said.