Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has expressed dissatisfaction with the growing unprofessional conduct of the Malawi Police especially under the newly appointed Acting Inspector General (IG) Rodney Jose.
Last Friday, police officers assaulted two innocent Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) journalists, Musase Cheyo and Towera Kumwenda, in Mzuzu city to the extent of tearing apart their clothes.
In a statement signed by executive director Timothy Mtambo, CHRR has condemned the police brutality saying it is sad that the two youthful journalists remained defenseless.
The statement says the only crime the journalists committed was to lawfully cover the flushing out of vendors from undesignated trading places within the streets of Mzuzu, which is being carried out by Mzuzu City Council, and the Malawi Police Service as the enforcing agent.
The organisation also notes that the same Police last week threw teargas at the Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) First Vice President Sidik Mia in Blantyre as he lawfully cheered up vendors.
Few weeks ago, the country watched the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) cadet in Blantyre—by the name Jomo Osman—publicly torturing an MCP follower just for wearing a party cloth.
“The video of this is everywhere on social media yet the Police haven’t yet arrested him just because he is DPP,” says the statement.
Recently, another journalist, Douglas Banda, was also brutally attacked by DPP cadets during the opening of Parliament in full view of the Police.
“This leaves us vindicated of our already registered and very serious appeal to have Jose’s appointment suspended. We have very sad cases before us,” said the statement.
CHRR has therefore asked the Police to desist from being partisan.
“We demand the arrest of the officers responsible for assaulting the two journalists. We also call upon the Parliament to demand a new IG free from any biasness. The recent examples are clear that Malawi does not have a decisive and professional IG yet,” the statement says.