Court says Police presented weak evidence in shooting case against officers

A court in Zomba says Malawi Police did not present substantial evidence in the case in which two police officers have been acquitted after shooting to death three fishermen.

The officers Steven Pahuwa and Jack Lusewa were arrested on February 13 for shooting five fishermen, three of whom died.

The incident happened on Lake Chilwa in Zomba, where the officers were hired by Mchenga Beach Village Committee (BVC) to help patrol the lake from illegal fishing activities as this is a closed fishing season.

The officers claimed that they shot in self-defence as the fishermen had attacked them with panga knives. The two were charged with murder.

Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe noted in his ruling on whether the two have a case to answer that  the police  did not present substantial evidence on the case.

He added that the evidence presented by six state witnesses showed that the police officers shot in self-defence.

Michongwe further said that the Section 30 of the Police Act allows a police officer to fire a live bullet when the situation becomes volatile.

Meanwhile, Malawians have condemned the law enforcers for presenting weak evidence in the case.

“The police who were being accused were also the accusers. As in, me taking to court my legs maybe for kicking someone to death. There, I present no strong evidence that the legs were in the wrong,” said social commentator Dave Namusanya.

“It’s always a game when it comes to police investigating its own staff, there will always be a coverup somewhere as you can see that the state failed to bring the evidence,” said Thomas Yuda on social media.

While Mwiza Kasila said: “Our legal system is compromised. Police officers were being prosecuted by their fellow police officers who were representing the state as it is said. And we expect the ones celebrating above to be brought to justice?