Malawi Police Service (MPS), mandated to prevent, investigate and detect crimes and apprehend and prosecute offenders has hit rock bottom.
Police officers as you might have heard, went on a rampage: raping, battering and assaulting women and girls in some parts of Lilongwe.
Since the MPS and mediocrity are identical twins, no one is surprised with the MPS’ steadfast failure to identify and apprehend the terrorists that have been petrol-bombing and spraying activists’ jalopies with bullets.
Now, while tolerating and condoning crimes against Civil Society officials is outrageous; coordinating missions to rape and assault hapless women is more than evil. It falls squarely in the category of crimes against humanity and even by Malawi Police’s mediocre standards, it stinks.
Just in case these protectors turned rapists don’t know, there is a raging ongoing debate going as to what constitutes the appropriate punishment for such scum of mankind.
If yes, how? Via chemicals or a surgical operation chopping off the undeserved ‘assault weapon’ from the rapist anatomy?
If you think castration is ‘too much’, wasn’t the act of rape itself ‘too much’ for the victims?
The dreaded death sentence? Yes?
There’s a school of thought professing that rapists deserve death by hanging. But even in this school, there’s some disagreement. Others will accept nothing less but death by hanging the rapist by the balls, literally.
Those against both castration and death by hanging are proposing longish prison sentences but those against jail sentences likewise argue that prisoners drain public coffers.
“Why should we waste funds on rapists who are beneath animals?” they ask.
Our predicament Blues’ Orators is even more dire.
You see, to debate punishment for rapists implies that you have culprits. Nailing the culprits requires effective and diligent police officers. In our case, police officers are the alleged culprits and hence the question: who will police the police when it’s the police themselves raping the hapless women and girls of Msundwe, Mpingu and M’bwatalika?
Blues’ Orators, although our head-deep-in-sand disputed president is not handling this crisis with the seriousness it deserves, this is perhaps the most critical juncture we have ever reached as a nation. The lowest of the low in our history.
The Police were reportedly dispensing this mob justice in retaliation for Usumani Imedi who was killed during protests.
On their vengeance mission, three police officers broke into a house rented by female self-boarders at Mpingu Community Day Secondary School and ordered the girls to strip to their birth day suits.
“Fortunately, two of us happened to be in our menses and we pleaded with the police officers to spare us. But one of us was forced to undress and was harassed while we watched,” one of the girls said.
The depraved officers then dragged her to a separate room. When attempting to defile her, she screamed a prayer. The prayer was heard and Providence visited the conscience – whatever was still remaining – of the police officer standing on guard outside.
This officer, like the Biblical Pontius Pilate, interjected: “Musiyeni ameneyo angatipatse matembelero [Leave her, she might bring a curse upon us]!”
Other women however did not benefit from such divine interventions.
“Anandivula mwankhanza ndi kuchita zawozo. Ine ndinangoti basi nanga n’kutani poti ifeyo tilibe mphamvu. [They forced me down and stripped me naked and did what they wanted]” another victim reported.
Everyday, more distressing stories are surfacing as the victims continue to come forward with their horrific experiences at the hands of cops who took the law into their pants.
Barbara Banda, the Chairperson of NGO-GCN, has been very explicit:
“According to our investigations, the police who descended on Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu did so not to investigate or professionally arrests suspects, but were on a vengeance mission for the killing of a fellow officer. Civilians, particularly women and children, were subjected to the most horrific and brutal treatment by people who are expected to uphold and enforce the law.”
“Yes,” is Police spokesperson Kadadzera’s response, “we have seen video clips that have been circulating on social media [about the incidents] and the statement from the NGO-GCN Gender Network. We will investigate the issue accordingly.”
Everyone in Malawi knows that the Police has a long history of failing to conclusively finalize investigations whenever a police officer or officers are involved in crimes.
Hence, only irredeemable fools are taking Kadadzera seriously.
Blues’ Orators, it is events like this which make me wonder why Mutharika insists he is president when in both word and deed, he abdicated soon after taking the oath of office.
Look here, with these barbaric acts, the Police has wilfully created three time bombs.
a) The first bomb is that Malawi Police Service which already had a troubled relationship with citizens, has now sunk to an irredeemable low.
b) The second is that rather than salvage lost prestige and begin reclaiming their own personal safety; police officers living in the locations now face risks should the relatives of the assaulted women decide to copy and paste their vengeance act and extract their own pound of flesh.
c) The third bomb is that Police Officers have successfully made the case for mob justice.
Hence vis-à-vis rapists, we shouldn’t be too surprised to wake up one day to a WhatsApp clip similar to the one circulating in Mexico, where a gang accosted a suspected rapist, stripped him naked, handcuffed him, and pinned to the ground.
You want to know what they happened next?
The gang directed a white pit bull dog onto his private parts and it mercilessly mauled, tore off and ate both his penis and testicles for ‘lunch’.
This, as per the Mexican gang, is a warning to all would-be rapists.
The seeds planted by Malawi Police may be minuscule but believe me, because of the few rapist officers, a lot of police officers are living dangerously in Malawi.
Mutharika and the Police leadership must act fast and now.
Each of the three ticking time bombs mentioned above carries enough ‘explosives’ to wreak havoc and I shudder at the thought of all three simultaneously exploding, everywhere.