Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) & Forum for National Development (FND) Condemn Salima Shop Raid and Demand Action

The Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Forum for National Development (FND) express their profound shock and disbelief over the disturbing media reports of a raid on a shop in Salima, allegedly perpetrated by police officers and operatives affiliated with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The incident, captured on CCTV, has raised serious concerns about the conduct of the officers involved and the involvement of non-police individuals claiming to be MCP youth cadres.

The HRCC and FND firmly denounce the engagement of supposed party cadres in law enforcement activities, as their actions amount to vigilante behavior. These vigilantes have reportedly moved from one political party to another, taking advantage of their association with those in power. The recent incident in Salima has implicated them in a raid on a shop belonging to an alleged Burundian national.

The involvement of non-police individuals in law enforcement operations raises questions about the legality and constitutionality of such actions. The HRCC and FND demand an immediate explanation from the police regarding the use of non-police personnel in the raid and seek clarity on whether this represents a sanctioning of vigilante actions by the authorities.

Furthermore, the HRCC and FND call on the MCP to address the nation and clarify whether the party sanctioned this operation. The preliminary investigation indicates that these vigilantes have aligned themselves with the police, using their connections to raid shops belonging to alleged foreign nationals with criminal intent. This behavior must not be condoned or supported by any responsible political party.

The HRCC and FND urge the MCP to uphold the principles of separation of powers and ensure that the party’s actions are in accordance with the law. President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s commitment to this principle should be demonstrated through condemning any actions that hinder the police from carrying out their duties independently and professionally.

In light of the evidence captured on CCTV and the public release of the names of individuals involved, the HRCC and FND demand the Inspector General of Police to take swift action. All officers implicated in the operation should be reprimanded, and all individuals involved, both police and non-police, must be arrested within the next 72 hours. They must be held accountable for their alleged theft and unprofessional conduct.

The HRCC and FND emphasize that no government or party official should interfere with the legal processes to ensure justice is served. Delaying tactics will not be tolerated, and immediate action is expected from the authorities.

Should the police fail to take appropriate action or the MCP shield the vigilantes, the HRCC and FND are prepared to take further action, including public demonstrations of their disapproval and legal recourse. The CCTV footage and audios circulating provide sufficient evidence for decisive action to be taken.

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