Women Lawyers Association (WLA)) has filed with the Lilongwe High Court an application for judicial review in the case in which 17 women from Msundwe are accusing police officers of sexual assault.
In the application, WLA accuses Inspector General of Police, Clerk of Parliament and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development of having failed to fulfil their duties in protecting citizens of the country, in particular the 17 women and girls who were reportedly raped, defiled and sexually assaulted by some police officers on duty in Msundwe, Mpingu and Mbwatalika on the outskirts of Lilongwe City in October 2019.
WLA public relations officer Mphatso Iphani said in an interview yesterday in Lilongwe that the commencement of the legal process is as a result of inaction by Malawi Police Services (MPS).
She said: “In a nutshell, we are saying we have commenced legal action in the sexual assault case. Right now, we have filed documents at court for leave to apply for judicial review. We want the court to declare that the police inaction in this matter is a violation of rights of the women and girls affected. The police have failed to effectively investigate the matter as such, denying the women justice.” A statement issued by WLA yesterday and signed by Iphani states that the application seeks several court declarations, including that there be an independent investigation into the complaints by women of Msundwe; that Parliament should immediately advertise for nominations of qualified persons for the office of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and that the 17 affected women and girls should be compensated.