Written by YAMIKANI SIMUTOWE
BLANTYRE (MaraPost) — The case of nine police officers arrested in connection with the deaths of 20 people during the July 20, 2011 nationwide anti-government demonstrations has been committed to the High Court where they will face murder charges.
Four officers who were arrested Wednesday in Lilongwe appeared before Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa Thursday morning where their cases were committed to the High Court.
Likewise, the other five arrested in Blantyre Sunday appeared before Blantyre Magistrate Court before they were remanded to Chichiri Prison in Blantyre.
The Lilongwe murder suspects are remanded at Maula Maximum Prison in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city.
The arrest of the nine police officers is in response to the findings of a Commission of Inquiry appointed by former president late Bingu wa Mutharika but whose results came out in July 2012 under Pres. Joyce Banda’s administration.
The findings faulted police for the deaths of 20 people and called for the investigation and prosecution of those involved.
The inquiry also established that the police lacked sufficient non-lethal weapons which resulted in use of lethal weapons.
At least 20 people died during the anti-Bingu wa Mutharika demonstrations after being shot at by police as unarmed citizens took to the streets to protest against the country’s then worsening economic situation and fears that the government was restricting citizens' rights.
Some of the officers including Lemekezo Mikuti, Benedicto Dzombe, Paul Mussa, Mahomed Kulusinje and Kelvin Nyirenda, all from Ndirande Police Sub-station, are being represented by lawyer Lusungu Gondwe.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013