Women MPs Pin Down IG Mwapasa Over Malawi Police Rape Spree

By Owen Khamula

Acting police Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa on Wednesday faced parliament’s Women Caucus which wanted to find out how far the police have gone with their inquiry on the infamous Nsundwe rapes.

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Mwapasa has conceded the police have not yet interviewed the victims of the alleged rapes at Nsundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika.

“We are finding it extremely hard to interview the victims because they are refusing to be interviewed by the police,” said Mwapasa.

The relationship between the police and the people in the three areas has gone bad since the violent arrests of suspects in the murder of a police officer at Nsundwe and those involved in violence.

Mwapasa told the women parliamentarians sitting on the Caucus that the police has zero-tolerance to sexual abuse.

“Once investigations are over, all the perpetrators will be brought to book,” he said.

He backed the decision to let the police investigate themselves on the rape allegations, saying this is not the first time that such an investigation has been done within the police file and rank.

The NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) documented accounts from women and girls who said they had been sexually assaulted by police officers.

“While NGO-GCN advocate justice on the case [the killing of the police officer], the network is disturbed with reports that some of the police officers dispatched in the area … raped women, defiled self-boarding girl students, tortured people and looted private property,” read its report.

The report, which described how police officers threw teargas and broke into houses, demanded that the president and other authorities ensure the allegations were thoroughly investigated and perpetrators punished. ” No one is above the law and the rule of law must be respected,” said the report.

The EU ambassador to Malawi, Sandra Paesen, the alleged sexual violence and called for “light to be shed on what happened.”

The British high commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, also called for a thorough investigation.

Tett said: “The UK believes that the best way to restore the police and public trust is through a thorough investigation.”

Source: Nyasa Times

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