Msundwe rapes report for Police eyes only

Malawi Police Service says the inquiry report on the Msundwe rapes has been submitted to the Acting Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa but the findings will not be shared with the general public.

Deputy Inspector General John Nyondo who led the internal inquiry said during a press briefing in Lilongwe that despite handing over the findings to Mwapasa, the police can not reveal the suspected police officers who are involved in the matter since it will jeopardize further investigations.

“As management we are as well concerned but we know that some issues are easily handled but some need more time and digging,” he said.

Nyondo then went on to state that the police will not shield any police officer found to have raped the women.

According to Nyondo, a criminal investigations into the rapes started on 31st December and the six detectives – three males and three females – were given 10 to 14 days to complete the probe.

He, however, dismissed reports of that the six detectives harassed and intimidated the victims saying the police are only trying to get to the bottom of the matter from the victims.

Nyondo said there is need for cooperation and support between investigators, witness and the victims.

On October 8, residents of Mpingu and Msundwe mounted illegal roadblocks on the Mchinji-Lilongwe road. The Police rushed to the scene to disperse the group but one of the police officers Usuman Imedi was killed during the fracas.

The next day, officers were deployed to Mpingu, M’bwatalika and Msundwe trading centres to arrest suspects.

During the operation, police officers are said to have raped and sexually abused women and self-boarding girl students. They also tortured people and looted private property.

A report by the Malawi Human Rights Commission released last month revealed that the police raped 17 women and girls during the operation.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) is planning to hold mass demonstrations next week on the same issue demanding the Malawi Police to arrest the suspected officers.