At least 20 people have been arrested by police in Lilongwe for looting and stealing people’s properties during Anti-Ansah demonstrations, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Timothy Mtambo has put the blame on acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa.

National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the arrested of the demonstrators saying some of those arrested had diverted from the designated march route to commit the suspected criminal acts.

He said seven suspects were arrested outside the route in connection with vandalism of property, especially near Reserve Bank of Malawi and Area 15 shops.

The other suspects are said to have allegedly stolen and looted private property at business centres, including in Mchesi Township.

In his address to the crowd, HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence condemned the police officers for firing teargas at peaceful protesters.

“It is sad that police officers decided to fire teargas at us when we are demonstrating peacefully and unarmed. We know that they have been sent to do this. But we want to tell them that if they thought we are going to stop demonstrating because of teargas, they are just deceiving themselves.” Trapence said.

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