In a statement signed by Police National Public Relations Officer James Kadadzera says MPS acknowledges that the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi affords every citizen the right to assemble and demonstrate with others peacefully and unarmed.
“Malawi Police Service calls upon all Malawians intending to exercise this right by participating in the April 27 demonstrations organized by Civil Society Organisations to do so peacefully and responsibly. Every citizen participating in the demonstrations is required, by law, to desist from destruction of property, causing injury to people, unnecessary obstruction of traffic, acts of hooliganism and use of words that propagate hatred against a group of people,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further states that police have collected credible intelligence that some unpatriotic Malawians are planning to advance their selfish and criminal interests during the April 27 demonstrations by disguising themselves as demonstrators. MPS warns any person or organization intending to engage in any criminal act that they will be dealt with according to the law.
“On the other hand, MPS assures all peace loving and law abiding Malawians not to live in fear since our officers are ready to deal with any lawful act during the demonstrations,” adds the statement.
Acknowledging the role of media in the country, Malawi Police have appealed to media houses to desist from sensational reporting that can cause hatred and disturb peace in the country. The police therefore call for responsible reporting.
“MPS also acknowledges the important role played by the media houses in the protection and promotion of rights of Malawians. Media houses as professionals have the mandate to inform the masses without usurping their Code of Ethics as advocated by oversight bodies such as MISA Malawi and Media Council of Malawi.
“It is therefore the expectation of MPS that the media houses will refrain from sensational coverage of the April 27 demonstrations to avoid inciting masses to commit acts of violence. Together we can ensure safety and security in our beloved country,” reads the statement.
Meanwhile, many Malawians including chiefs are against the demonstrations that some Civil Society Organisations are organizing by saying those planning are not serving the interests of Malawians, but their own.