The eastern region branch of the Malawi Police Service says they will apologize for the unprofessional conduct of some overzealous police officers who fired teargas in the students’ hostels on Friday.
Lawful demonstrations took place on Friday where a large number of students escorted by the police peacefully presented their petition to the District Commissioner for Zomba.
“We can’t stomach having one semester in one academic year. This is a stench in our nostrils and is the reason why you see me with the backing of thousands of students to show that it was not only about me, I just provided the leadership but it was about them and I thank them for such a peaceful demonstration,” said Humble Bondo—a lead organizer after presenting the petition.
“We are hopeful that the Chancellor whom we have petitioned will see merit in our petition and intervene because we think we have a meritorious case.”
However, hell broke loose when the students were going back to their hostels when upon provocation, the police started firing teargas as if they were revenging for the demeaning songs the students were singing directed at them, the police, during the demonstrations.
The youthful police officers went on a rampage besieging the University of Malawi campus and crowding it with teargas leaving students with disabilities stranded in their locker rooms as they could not run to safety as others did.
Now, police authorities are saying sorry for the conduct of the junior officers. They describe the use of teargas as unnecessary on this day and situation.
“We sincerely apologize. There was a misjudgment on the officers who fired teargas at the students hostels. We fire teargas to disperse demonstrators to their homes. These hostels are the students homes. You don’t fire teargas at their homes,” said Eastern Region Deputy Police Commissioner, Kelvin Mlezo.
Mlezo said the police will discipline those who conducted in this manner and since committed to meet the University of Malawi authorities to tender their apology on Monday upon receiving a letter to do so by Speaker of the Students body, Pempo Kampini.