As the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and some law experts are condemning the security operation which was conducted by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) in conjunction with Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Immigration Department and Intelligence agencies on September 12 and 13 last weekend.
FOM speaking to the Inspector General of Police Loti Dzozi said the work of police is tougher than that of CSOs. The security agencies conducted the operation amid concerns about the increasing cases of insecurity in the country soon after President Peter Mutharika won the presidency in May.
Commenting on the operation, CSOs and law experts condemned it saying it is a violation of People’s rights considering that people were arrested without prior investigation or proof of an offence having been committed.
“Arresting persons without prior investigation or proof of an offence having been committed constitutes a violation of their constitutional rights, including the right to human dignity, the right to freedom of movement, the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to freedom and security of person,” reads the statement in part signed by different CSOs in the country.
Reacting to the statement, Inspector General of Police said as much as the police have the duty to protect the lives and property of all Malawians, their job is tougher than that of the civil society.
“The Malawi Police Service has the constitutional obligation to protect the lives and property of all Malawians. Fulfilling that obligation is tougher than the job of the civil society. If they (civil society) are able to hear the cries of Malawians about insecurity, they should be able to understand our actions,” said Dzozi.
During the exercise, 2119 suspects were arrested and two guns confiscated. Of the 2119, 987 suspects were arrested in the central region, 473 in the Southern Region, and 414 in the Northern Region and 282 in the eastern region.
Of the suspects 2119 were vagabonding, 218 were Illega immigrants and 20 were wanted habitual offenders.