Police arrest 34 over violence

Police have arrested 34 people in relation to reports of violence registered in some parts of the country over the weekend.

There were spates of elections-related violence in Mponela, Dowa and Lilongwe on Saturday where angry people burnt tyres, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) offices and blocked roads.

Jose: We are investigating

Two children were injured in the fracas in Mponela, Dowa after being hit by a vehicle when a driver tried to evade demonstrators who were protesting against reports that DPP candidate President Peter Mutharika, who has since been declared winner by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), was leading in results from almost 75 percent of the polling stations.

Briefing the media in Blantyre yesterday, Inspector General (IG) of Police Rodney Jose said the police were receiving tip-offs that may lead to more arrests of perpetrators of the violence.

He said one suspect was arrested in Mponela, 31 suspects in Msundwe and two in Area 23 in Lilongwe. Violence was also reported in Santhe, Lilongwe but police are yet to make arrests.

Said Jose: “Malawians of good will are coming forward with information, giving names of suspected ring leaders. We are investigating all the tip-offs and soon all those involved will be detained.”

The Police IG also said police are investigating perpetrators of violence who assaulted former Minister of Homeland and Internal Security Nicholas Dausi last Friday at MEC premises in Blantyre.

He further urged the public to maintain peace “and refuse to be used by anyone as well as report anyone suspected of orchestrating violence”.

Commenting on reports that some violent acts were happening in full view of police officers, Deputy Police IG responsible for operations Duncan Mwapasa cautioned such officers, saying they will be investigated and dealt with through the Section Standards Unit of the Malawi Police Service (MPS).

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