By: Happy Arnold Soko
In another controversial scandal, The Malawi Star has uncovered how the Malawi Police demands money to turn a blind eye to minibus touting.
The investigation conducted by this publication has established that some police officers carrying a rifle registration number BT19 were captured receiving money from minibus touts at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital stage on Wednesday.
Minibus touts revealed that police demand a heavy some of money from them on a daily basis.
According to the sources, police who are allocated at Ginnery Corner for patrol conduct these shakedowns three times a day.
They said some come in morning hours, lunch hour and others in the afternoon to collect money so that they are not arrested.
The police officers, whose names have not been disclosed, pocket Mk9, 000 every day and every Minibus tout contributes Mk300 a day.
The source further disclosed that sometimes police visit them in civilian clothes and round them up under the pretext of stopping touts from causing trouble. They are charged and forced to pay bribes before reaching the police station.
“There is a lot of people out on the streets who have been arrested are forced to pay hefty sums and that money is shared among senior police officials,” claimed the source.
“It’s hard to understand that the level of police brutality has reached this extent. Most of the times we strive to make a living just as they do as law enforcers. These people are allocated in different place, those allocated at Ginnery Corner demand money. They force us to give them money, we collaborate and raise the money to give them so they can leave us,” added the source.
In her remarks, Blantyre Police spokesperson Elizabeth Divala said they will investigate the matter.
She described the behavior as worrisome and vowed to take serious measures on the matter.
“Give us time to investigate the matter. This is a sad thing for our police officers. We are here to serve and protect the citizens of Malawi guided by the law and arrest those who are involved in the corrupt practice. We will take them to book,” explained Divala in a telephone Interview.
Minibus touting was declared illegal a few years ago and by law; anyone found in the act of touting is there fore subject to be apprehended by the police.