Despite President Lazarus Chakwera telling the Malawi Police to stop using force in enforcement of rules, the law enforcers are still beating up innocent citizens.
Police accompanied by Mzuzu City Council team of bouncers known as Rangers have been going around patrolling the city streets and at times beating anyone found plying trade in undesignated places.
On Wednesday, at around lunch hour, the bouncers in the company of some police officers took turns beating a helpless 24-year-old man identified as Chawezi Kamweka who was caught near Mzuzu DAPP Retail store supplying pasta (spaghetti) to his client.
“I always do delivery vending and that time I was on my way to deliver my goods to customer close to DAPP shop not that I was selling, it was when the team of bouncers with the Police came and started beating me, I tried to explain to them but nothing worked for me,” the victim told Malawi24.
Apart from losing the commodity he was supplying to his client, the helpless Kamwela was severely beaten in full view of armed junior police officers who were heard shouting “don’t let him go” until his head was bath in blood.
Upon seeing that Kamwela was badly wounded with multiple cuts on his face and a swollen face, one of the policemen ordered that he be taken to Mzuzu Health Centre.
The police officers, however, just dumped the victim outside the health centre instead of making sure he was assisted.
“The most painful thing was the Police that we trust took me and dump me outside the Mapale healthy center and were talking to each other “Tikubweza zija mumatipanga pa ma demo a 2019” (we are revenging what you were doing to us during 2019 demonstrations),” said Kamwela.
At Mzuzu Health Centre, the medical personnel referred Kamwera to Mzuzu Central Hospital where he was given a bed for observation.
Efforts to seek views from the Northern Region Police deputy public relations officer, Maurice Chapola proved futile as he was reported to have travelled to Lilongwe for other duties hence referring our reporter to the Mzuzu city police deputy publicist Paul Tembo who asked for more time to find out what really happened.
“Let me follow it up tomorrow morning and come up with our official position on the matter, where exactly did this happen?” quizzed the City police deputy publicist.
Commenting on reports of Mzuzu City Council Rangers using excessive force when confiscating goods on sale in undesignated places, the Assembly’s public relations officer, MacDonald Gondwe, expressed ignorance saying his office has not yet received any complaint.
“We haven’t received any compliant on the issue, in fact we are getting it for the first time. Now that we have been tipped, we will have to look at the issue, investigate and should it happen that the allegations are true then the Council shall necessitate disciplinary procedures,” Gondwe said.
However, the council’s publicist said the decision to hire bouncers was made by market committee.
On his part, Treasurer General for Mzuzu Matabwa Market, Yosefe Bolamoyo Misinde hailed the Mzuzu City Council for continued patrolling of streets saying the initiative is bringing in sanity in town.
A fortnight ago in his Covid-19 state of nation address, state president Lazarus Chakwera reminded the police that beating of the citizenry is unacceptable and has no room under his administration where he said there is no police force but rather a police service.
“Citizens found to be in violation of public safety laws must be subjected to due process, not police brutality or beatings,” said Chakwera.