Malawi Law So­ci­ety gears up to sue po­lice over bru­tal­ity

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide -

LILONGWE — Of­fi­cials from the Malawi Law So­ci­ety (MLS) have urged lead­er­ship within the Chan­cel­lor Col­lege Stu­dents’ Union to sub­mit names of po­lice who bru­talised stu­dents dur­ing a re­cent protest.

Ac­cord­ing to Nyasa Times, the call fol­lows a clip re­leased on­line show­ing un­armed girls be­ing slapped and ha­rassed by po­lice of­fi­cers as schol­ars took to the streets to air their grievances over a re­cently an­nounced hike in fees.

“Chan­cel­lor Col­lege Stu­dents Union has re­ceived an ur­gent call from the Malawi Law So­ci­ety to sub­mit names of all stu­dents who suf­fered any form of act of po­lice bru­tal­ity dur­ing the re­cent events on cam­pus,” said the union’s pres­i­dent, Ayuba Sylvester James.

Since the emer­gence of the video, which has since gone vi­ral over the in­ter­net, calls have been grow­ing urg­ing Malaw­ian po­lice to con­duct dis­ci­plinary in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter and bring the per­pe­tra­tors of vi­o­lence to book.

“When I first saw the video, I couldn’t watch it to the end. I just couldn’t stom­ach it. I imag­ined the fear the un­armed girls had at the site of the mon­sters cam­ou­flaged as po­lice of­fi­cers. The overzeal­ous po­lice of­fi­cers were sup­posed to pro­tect the stu­dents and not to harm them,” wrote Selina Kainja, a colum­nist for lo­cal news­pa­per, The Week­ender.

“Our po­lice of­fi­cers need to go back to class and learn bet­ter ways of crowd or riot con­trol. It has shown that in many cases, when there are demos, po­lice use vi­o­lence or in­tim­i­da­tion to scare peo­ple away,” Nyasa Times quoted Kainja as say­ing.

Mem­bers of the for­mer rul­ing Peo­ple’s Party (PP) have also lashed out at the devel­op­ment, writ­ing to the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice ask­ing for the po­lice of­fi­cer fea­tured in the vi­ral clip to be fired with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

Ac­cord­ing to a Malawi24 re­port, PP spokesper­son Ken Msonda, made the call, adding that of­fi­cers in­volved in the bru­tal­ity of in­no­cent stu­dents must be dis­ci­plined.

“We have a video clip which is ex­pos­ing some of­fi­cer slap­ping fe­male stu­dents at the in­sti­tu­tion, which is not a good devel­op­ment con­sid­er­ing the aca­demic free­dom, and we have sent that video to the in­spec­tor gen­eral of the po­lice. We want those of­fi­cers fired,” said Msonda.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.