News / Africa

Malawi Activist Blames Police For ‘Excessive’ Force

Malawi police patrol on a street of Lilongwe on July 20, 2011
Malawi police patrol on a street of Lilongwe on July 20, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Justin Dzonzi, chairman of Malawi’s Human Rights Consultative Committee (MHRCC)

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

The chairman of Malawi’s Human Rights Consultative Committee (MHRCC) says police seemed to have used excessive force in violent protests Wednesday in major cities across the country.

Justin Dzonzi also said some of the protesters are to blame for destroying property, which he said provoked a reaction from the police.

“Looking at it from all angles, obviously, the police used excessive force,” said Donzi, “because all the reports indicate that these people were armed with stones. If you begin to shoot at people armed with stones as a police officer, you must certainly be exceeding the reasonable requirement of overcoming resistance.”

Witnesses say angry demonstrators set fires in Lilongwe and Mzuzu, while police in Blantyre fired tear gas to disperse protesters who numbered in the hundreds.

Dzonzi said the angry protesters should share the blame for the violence.

“The police would be guilty of using excessive force, but notwithstanding the fact that part of the violence was provoked by the demonstrators themselves,” said Dzonzi.

A coalition of civic and rights groups as well as opposition parties organized the nationwide demonstrations to express what they said is their anger and disgust at President Mutharika’s “marauding tyranny, bad economic policies and [poor] democratic governance.”

Dzonzi said President Bingu Wa Mutharika has yet to address concerns of protest organizers.

“On top of the list would be fuel scarcity.  Malawi is experiencing one of its worse fuel shortages it has ever experienced,” said Dzonzi. “Then we have [alleged] blatant abuse of the majority that the ruling party has in parliament by [introducing] quite unpopular pieces of legislation…The list is long and that might give you an idea of general mood of Malawians, which will partly explain why such a peaceful demonstration might have erupted into violence.”

Mr. Mutharika has been criticized for his handling of a diplomatic disagreement that prompted Britain to cut economic aid to its former colony. Dzonzi said a majority of Malawians are displeased with how the president handled the spat.

“It was certainly part of the [reasons]put forward for holding a peaceful demonstration against the administration,” said Dzonzi. “Of course you also have to understand that these issues have actually been on the table for quite some time now.”

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid