UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed worry with the increasing number of people killed in mob attacks in Malawi.
In a statement released by Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Cécile Pouilly while it welcomes President Arthur Mutharika’s 30th March statement, UN has strongly condemned these crimes and call on all citizens, NGOs and Government agencies to support the Malawi police in its fight against mob killings in accordance with the rule of law.
Cécile Pouilly urge the authorities in Malawi to act promptly to identify and prosecute those involved in mob killings, and to offer remedy to victims. The authorities must address the root causes of such attacks and launch an awareness campaign to encourage people to report crimes to police and not take the law into their own hands.
Over the past two months, there has been nine reported incidents across the country leading to the deaths of 16 people.
On 28th March, a mob stormed a police station, grabbed a man accused of murder out of his cell and killed him in Dedza, a city located some 85 km away from the capital, Lilongwe.
In by far the worst incident reported this year, seven people accused of possessing human bones were attacked and set on fire by a mob on 1st March in Southern Malawian border district of Nsanje. On 25th January, four elderly members of the same family were also beaten and killed by a mob in Neno District, after being accused of using witchcraft to kill a 17-year-old woman by lightning.
In a separate incident, on 3rd February, residents of a township in Blantyre, Malawi’s second largest city, set fire to a Court, apparently out of fear that it would grant bail to three men suspected of murder. In the same city, an angry mob set two suspected criminals on fire after severely beating them.
UN High Commission should not just press releases, should also make sure strategies are put in place to inject resources into local NGO’s it is mobilising to civic educate the rural masses, Malawian citizens to respect the rule of law.