The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has distanced itself from claims that the law enforcers on Saturday mercilessly beat up members of the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) who blocked in the M1 road near Malawi Institute of Management in an attempt to meet President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
APAM President Overstone Kondowe and other 12 members sustain injuries following running battles with the police.
In a video clip seen by faceofmalawi reporter, police officers are seen beating up APAM members while dispersing them from the M1 road.
But MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera refuted the claims, describing the reports as fake.
“The Malawi Police Service (MPS) wishes to categorically refute the allegations making headlines on social media platforms and other broadcasting institutions over alleged brutality by police officers deployed to clear and bring sanity on M1 Road at MIM in Lilongwe.
“APAM members blocked the main road and also engaged in several misconducts including damaging the gate leading to MIM offices. Police officers deployed on duty exercised maximum restraint and performed their work within the limits of the law to restore order,” reads in part the statement.
He added: “MPS also refutes allegations making rounds that the police officers used teargas and excessive force in trying to clear the M1 road and disperse the illegal demonstrators; this is also totally untrue. These allegations leveled against the police are but an indication of how some quarters of the citizenry bend the truth to suit their selfish interests.
“Preliminary investigations have showed that uncontrollable members of APAM on this day caused more havoc and attacked police officers in the course of removing barriers and dispersing the people blocking the road. For order to return the police effected arrests on the ring leaders, seven in number, and were charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace as well as malicious damage.”
The statement further accuses ZBS journalist of obstructing police officers on duty.
“A journalist from ZBS was also arrested for obstructing police officers on duty; he too has been charged accordingly.
“The Malawi Police Service believes that the misconduct displayed by members of APAM under the watch of their president Mr. Overstone Kondowe is uncalled for and unlawful in the democratic era as all Malawians have equal rights. We therefore, warn APAM, its members and the general public to avoid taking the law into their own hands. Furthermore, we call upon some media houses that always rush to publicize news without verifying facts to desist from the tendency and be professional at once,” he added.