Written by A MARAPOST CORRESPONDENT
Limbe Police Public Relations Officer Chifundo Chibwezo took the law in her own hands when she threatened a woman on suspicion that she was going out with her estranged husband.
Chibwezo caused a scene at Agnes Chiwoko's workplace at Delamere House in Blantyre last Friday when she stormed the premises hurling insults at her rival, eye witnesses said.
"She did not stop there. She confiscated Chiwoko's mobile phone arguing that it belonged to her husband. She even brought a letter from Limbe Police summoning Chiwoko to appear before the Victim Support Unit," said one eye-witness.
Chiwoko was initially reluctant to speak, arguing that it would look like she was the one who leaked the incident to the media.
"If I comment people will think I am the one who came to you, so I will not say anything," she said.
But she later had a change of heart. She confirmed the incident, saying she was surprised by the policewoman's behaviour.
"I was surprised by her behaviour because she and the said husband are no longer together. Chifundo left Andrew Chibwezo (the husband) last year in May because she thought he was too poor for her. Andrew stayed alone up to November when he fell in love with me.
"I am in a relationship with him and she has never acted this way before. Even Andrew has condemned what she did. She walked out on him long time back. She even removed everything from the house, what does she want now?" wondered Chiwoko.
She vowed to defy the summons to appear before the Limbe Police Victim Support Unit, claiming officers there will be biased in favour of their colleagues.
"I have already reported the matter to Blantyre Police and they are treating it as a theft case because she took my phone by force. They have also advised me not to go to Limbe. Blantyre Police has opened a case file for her and I will not let her get away with it," she said.
However, Chibwezo defended her behaviour, claiming that she confiscated the phone because she was looking for evidence to be presented in court in divorce proceedings she has commenced against her husband.
She claimed that she walked out on Andrew because he was not only abusive but also never owned up to his responsibilities as a husband and father.
"I am not mad. As a police officer I know the limitations of my power. However, in this matter I am a victim. I have been living in a very sad marriage during which I have not known happiness at all. I have three children but their father has never been responsible enough to look after them.
"He does not fend for them; I do everything on my own. When we were living together he used to beat me up, strip me naked and lock me outside the house. How was I supposed to continue living in such a marriage? I left the house because I could not stand the violence any longer," she said.
The police publicist accused her rival of using the media to tarnish her image as a public figure.
"She has gone to the press in order to tarnish my image. This is a private matter and I would not like to discuss my private affairs in newspapers. As a police officer I have a reputation to protect, so I don't want to discuss this matter any further. But you should know that I am a victim in this case, even my fellow officers know what I have gone through," she said.
Meanwhile, Blantyre Police could neither confirm nor deny handling the case because, according to spokesperson Lameck Thembachako, cases handled by the Victim Support Unit are sensitive an are treated as private