May 11, 2020
The Acting Inspector General, Malawi Police Service Headquarters,
ATT: MR. DUNCAN MWAPASA
ARREST CRIMINALS INVOLVED IN THE RECENT SPATE OF POLITICALLY SPONSORED VIOLENCE OR ELSE FACE CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE CHARGES
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) hereby writes to bring to your attention some suspicious conduct displayed smartly by your office, by dogging to instruct the police to act on the spate of politically sponsored violence that is posing a threat to the country’s peace, law and order.
It is more disheartening to note that what started like social media political overzealousness a couple of weeks ago in some parts of the southern and eastern regions, has so far led to the tragic loss of two lives. We believe that if the situation remains unchecked, Malawians should likely brace for even more needless loss of lives.
CDEDI and indeed all peace loving Malawians are shocked with your deafening silence over the recent developments. By extension, your silence can be construed as a blank Cheque to criminals to terrorise innocent and unsuspecting citizens in broad-day-light.
You may wish to recall that a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadet was arrested by citizens in Chirimba after a gang harassed and destroyed Malawi government property that was in the hands of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and the National Registration Bureau (NRB) officials respectively at a voter registration centre in the course of carrying out national duty. The suspect was handed over to the Malawi Police only to be released upon arrival at Blantyre police in a movie like scenario!
In Mulanje and Thyolo opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM monitors were beaten and left for dead by criminals a few hours after DPP cadets’ videos went viral on social media purportedly declaring Mulanje a no-go-zone for the opposition political parties. Does it require one to undergo training at Mtakataka Police Training School in order to link such barbaric acts to the DPP cadets shown in the videos?
Still in Mulanje, UTM officials were attacked right at the police station in full view of the police and no arrests have been made so far. Does this not sound comic?
In Balaka, UTM director of women’s house was petrol-bombed and her official party vehicles got damaged in the process and the police are yet to act.
The worst happened in Lilongwe Area 24 on May 4, 2020 where the heartless criminals set ablaze UTM offices that also used to house the Selemani family of seven. As you are reading this letter, the family has lost a mother and son while the five members are battling for their lives at Kamuzu Central Hospital.
The mother and son were buried on May 7, 2020, the same day your boss State President Professor Peter Mutharika presented his nomination papers to the electoral body in readiness for the Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE). Malawians of good-will expected that in your official capacity you will inform him of the Lilongwe tragedy and that he would in turn take advantage of his speech to condole the Selemani family or at least condemn the barbaric acts. This raises a lot of questions than answers but certainly it is very revealing!
CDEDI therefore, writes to remind you Sir that Malawi Police is for all Malawians regardless of political, ethnical, religious affiliations. Secondly, we would like to politely remind you Sir, that you are not the first officer to hold the post, and neither will you be the last. Inspector Generals just like ruling parties come and go! But Malawians are, and will be there!
It is against this background that CDEDI is giving you ten (10) days to investigate and arrest those responsible for the incidents as chronicled above and such other related incidences reported in different police establishments across the country. Should this fall on deaf ears, CDEDI will not hesitate but drag you in your personal capacity as Mr. Duncan Mwapasa to court for criminal negligence in line with Section 121 of the Penal Code chapter 7:01 of Laws of Malawi. CDEDI will demand from the Malawi Courts that you should be arrested, charged, prosecuted on negligence of duty because deliberate negligence of duty is a crime in Malawi. You will be prosecuted under section 83 of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code chapter 8:01of the Laws of Malawi. You are oppressing Malawi Police Officers by telling them not to investigate cases where the Political Party DPP is concerned. That is clear deliberate negligence of duty. We will make sure you are prosecuted, convicted and removed from office as Acting Inspector General of police.
Lastly, but not the least, CDEDI, just like all well-meaning Malawians, would like to have a professional police entrusted with a constitutional mandate to bring peace, law and order, and not otherwise.
CDEDI is a non partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established with a goal to have a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.
ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR