What is the root of the problems?

I was interested in Mzimba West MP, Honourable Billy Kaunda’s parliamentary submission where he asked Minister of Home Affairs what was being done in the issue that involved the death of four people and maiming of one, allegedly by the Malawi Police Service.

The incident in question is reported to have occurred in 2009, when, and this is the sad part, Honourable Kaunda was in Bingu wa Mutharika’s government. It is now over two years and thanks to the death of Mutharika, Kaunda is now liberated that he can ask about the death of his constituents.

I was particularly concerned, however, with the response by Minister Uladi Mussa and the earlier concern by Kaunda as to the language that was being used, both in the question and in the response. Firstly, both Kaunda and Mussa referred to the alleged police individuals alleged to have been involved as “police officers”. If ordinary you and me refer to men in police uniform as “officers”, I would not be so concerned. But when notable men of the Chamber use the word “officers” carelessly, that worries me. How many other things are they messing up because they do not know? An officer refers to specific grades in the police or the army. Not every police man or police woman is an officer. I hope Honourable Mussa will be brave enough to ask Inspector-General Dzonzi as to who is an officer and who is not.

The second point I felt gravely concerned about was the response by Mussa where he referred to the “police officers who killed”..It is possible, and even likely that members of the police killed the people. But I also ask that as long as we are at the allegation stage, we need to refer to all suspects, and it does not matter who it is, as suspects, allegations, alleged to have killed and things like that. It is a problem when a minister refers to the “police officers” as having killed someone even before we have gone to court.

The third point I want to raise as a concern is mixed. I thank Mussa for promising that his ministry will take up the matter and see to it that justice is served. Thank you minister. I am concerned, however, to note that a whole Cabinet minister should be involved to ensure that justice is served. Why is that? What is missing in the system that should have allowed justice to be served with or without the minister’s intervention? This is where we need to invest our energies.

I am now moving to another point. We have heard MRA cheating episode. We have also heard that MERA had deposited money into government account number one. We will hear many more cover-ups and lies as long as Bingu remains dead. Why this news is exciting in as far people who do not like the Democratic People’s Party are concerned and Bingu is ashamed, I proposed a change to our Constitution, i.e. presidential, or president’s immunity. As long as we have a president who enjoys almost unlimited immunity, we will reap these excesses of power.

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