The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says it has launched a manhunt for the person who wanted to attack Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) activists in Lilongwe with a grenade.
On Friday, the man who was not caught was seen with a grenade going towards a vehicle belonging to one of HRDC activists who are leading the anti-Jane Ansah protests.
The incident occurred at Crossroads Hotel where members of the grouping met the Attorney General and the Malawi Police to discuss the way forward regarding post-election demonstrations.
According to a police statement on the matter by the national police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, the attacker was allegedly chased by a personal bodyguard of one of the HRDC members.
However, police say it is not clear if the suspect really had a grenade since the security guard for the HRDC member did not see it but he was able to touch and feel what the alleged attacker had in his pocket and concluded that it was a hand grenade.
In the statement, Kadadzera said though it’s not clear if it was really a hand grenade, police have launched a manhunt for the suspect and have since assured the general public that the matter will get to its logical conclusion very soon.
“The Malawi police Service [MPS] is investigating the matter. However, what is clear from the statement by the person who raised the alarm is that no one ever heard any person stating that he wanted to attack any vehicle. Neither did anyone see any grenade. MPS assures members of the public that this matter will be investigated to its logical conclusion,” said Kadadzera in a statement.
Meanwhile, HRDC National Chairperson Timothy Mtambo has said members of the grouping are not safe and it is unfortunate that Malawi Police Service are not helping them and feels that government is playing games with them..
“We think that these discussions are not being done in good faith, we don’t think they will end well. We are going to meet them on our conditions, we need to be assured of our security. They have to listen to us because we are vulnerable,” he said.
The two parties met at Crossroads Hotel after shifting the meeting first from Civic Offices and then from Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) on security grounds.