I have very good freinds in Police service, though by being a Journalist some of them try to keep their jobs by not coming to my office or home since they do handle sensitive information. Others even call me from outside duty points and we generally talk of things that we have spoken in the past-minus politics. Strange as it may sound, I rarely make political debates part of my past time, I have enough of them in newsrooms and with appropriate stakeholders.
So when I read or get one more story on Police brutality, I always call my freinds, and thank God even the Mchesi killings, they were never part of it. But it us getting scary. Just last Friday, my colleague in profession Emmanual Chibwana met some Chilomoni Police officers who at a pub were busy tossing someone who was wearing a camouflage attire- in what my PRO Police freind Chingwalu claim to be a "lok alike."
Being a Journalist like me, definately he asked the Police officers what the hell they were doing and why didnt they go and confisicate the 'look alike' uniforms at the source. Hundres of shops in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu are selling them and it seems Police only like preying on the poor victims in the street.
He got a beating of his life, arrested, and dumped at a station despite loosing so much blood. I rarely would want to indulge in the debate that the Journalist was rude or was beating Police officers at their station that they had to contain him. Either the Inspector General whom I have huge respect or Police seniors must think this country has a lot of fools.
Crowd control is part of Police training, my uncle who retired after serving as Inspector General told me long time ago that they have enough technques to work anybody and subdue them. I was challenging him how he had recruted thin officers when we have many bouncers around.
The picture on Chibwana shows no difference between petty thugs and anybody esle who cares to call himself a Police officer.
I wish the Inspector General of Police Bwana Olive Kumbambe spoke on the issues that have been coming out much faster than the previous gender based violence. I saw a man from Kawale Police- now said to be notorious for torture, they claimed it was mob justice, but this guys was lokced for 17 days no recourse to justice and left to bleed in a cell.
Then the guy who was shot in Machinga in the Ellock Maotcha saga, he was left with a bullet in his head and will have to carry this bullet until his death, which might be quickened with it for life. He was arrested also by Police while the shooter whether by hook or design was left scott free.
I wrote a story of a widow whose husband Abdullah Yusuf was shot dead by 997 officer now known as Mchesi victim-was arrested for malicous damage, invoking further tensions in a volatile community that is yet to come to terms with the shooting.
I can list down the Mbayani kid who was killed just a month ago when fracas broke in the Township.
Either the Police crowd control methods are new or simply we have killing machines in uniforms.
To whether Emmanual, Yusuf, Mbayani boy or the Kawale man were wrong, it is not the Police to beat them up or kill them up. They just need to build the case and prove it in court. Frustrations, bribery and extortotions will not help anyone in society!!!
Now in the middle of it all was the closing of Joy Radio allegedly owned by former President Bakili Muluzi. Now, the strangest side of it all the reasons of closing-though the communications act is very clear- will set a challenge to the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority to close that other radio!!