Two Police officers on Saturday killed three fishermen and injured two others on Lake Chilwa in Zomba
Malawi Police spokesperson James Kadadzera has confirmed the shooting in a statement today.
According to Kadadzera, Mchenga Beach Village Committee (BVC) hired two police officers from Kachulu Police Unit in the district to help patrol Lake Chilwa from illegal fishing activities as this is a closed fishing season.
At Lingani Fishing Dock, the officers and the BVC met fishermen who were armed with panga knives.
“The fishermen refused to hand over their fishing nets to members of the BVC as is required and instead, launched an attack on them. It is reported that the police used their firearm to protect themselves and the BVC members and to further arrest the fishermen,” said Kadadzera.
He added that five fishermen were shot and three were confirmed dead at Zomba Hospital. The other two have been admitted at the hospital.
Kadadzera in his statement has admitted that the two officers used excessive force in dealing with the fishermen. He added that the two officers have been arrested for smooth investigations.
“The MPS is of the view that the force applied was excessive, and should investigations confirm to this, the officers will be charged with the offence of murder,” said Kadadzera.
Kadadzera has since urged the Malawi Human Rights Commission and the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the issue, saying it has impact on the image of the police service.
The Police have been on a shooting spree in recent weeks. On December 31, a student was shot during an encounter with a police officer and a guard. The student Blessings Nyondo died in Hospital days after the shooting.
Two men were also shot dead by a police officer in Thyolo in January. In each of cases, police claimed that the victims were attempting to wrestle gun from the officers.