Pressure is mounting for Malawi Police Service (MPS) to probe the political violence that reared its ugly head in Mzuzu on Sunday.
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP, the Church and Society Programme of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Livingstonia Synod and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) have demanded a thorough probe to bring perpetrators to book.
On Monday, Police said it has opened an investigation into the ambush by panga-wielding thugs who attempted to disrupt a joint opposition parties’ rally in Mzuzu.
Despite that no uniformed police officer was seen at the rally venue, Chibavi Primary School ground, police said they spotted some of the thugs and “will soon effect arrests”.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said police were deployed to ensure order.
He said the police spotted the thugs and have since launched investigations into the matter, adding that the suspects will be arrested and taken to court.
Chapola said: “Our duty is to protect every Malawian no matter which political party they belong to. The team that came in the armoured vehicle was a beef up team.
“Police officers were deployed and I can assure you that investigations have been commenced and that the suspects will be arrested.”
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, who co-addressed the rally with People’s Party (PP) third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana, yesterday said every citizen deserves police protection regardless of their political affiliation.
During a news conference in Lilongwe yesterday, MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said the police should explain why they did not provide security after being alerted.
Speaking in an interview, Synod of Livingstonia Church and Society Programme director Moses Mkandawire condemned the violence and said his programme has also launched independent investigations into the matter to identify culprits and those that sponsored the attack.
CCJP, on the other hand, has called on the police to carry out speedy investigations and prosecute those responsible.
Recently, PP acting president Uladi Mussa was ambushed and had his rally disrupted in Mzuzu.
During Sunday’s fracas, armed police were seen arriving at the venue after the meeting was over and the opposition leaders had left. Irate youths blocked the police and asked them to leave. n