Nsundwe victims finally get compensation

The fracas which ensued in Nsundwe

Government has duly paid compensation to 18 applicants in the Nsundwe case where girls and women were raped, sexually assaulted and beaten by the officers from the Malawi Police service on October 8, 2019.

On 9th March 2021, Assistant Registrar Chimwaza sitting at the High Court Lilongwe Registry issued a ruling on assessment of damages which determined the amount of compensation payable to each applicant ranging from K4 to K10 million each.

The incidents at Msundwe, Mpingu and Mbwatalika trading centres on the outskirts of Lilongwe city along the Lilongwe-Mchinji road followed post May 21 2019 elections violence.  

A statement from Women Lawyers Association signed by its President Immaculate Maluza, has confirmed the development saying the payment marks the conclusion of the civil aspect of the case

“Therefore, the ruling and the subsequent payment of compensation in JR Cause No.7 solidifies that violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable and never tolerable.

“WLA would also like to take this opportunity to remind the Malawi Government that women and girls still face barriers in accessing equal opportunity and representation in every sphere of life.

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Some of the Nsundwe suspects captured on arrival at court in this file footage

“We therefore implore the government to make available sufficient, effective and sustainable resources to reduce and eliminate gender based violence across Malawi,” read the statement.

Despite statistics showing that at least one in every three women is likely to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime, the Association indicated its strong belief for women and girls to live a violence-free life.

The grouping went on to assure the public of its commitment in ensuring the progression of the criminal aspect of the case which it hoped will result in the specific officers being charged under the relevant criminal laws.

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A march for justice for the Nsundwe victims in Lilongwe

Women Lawyers is urging members of the Nsundwe community and the surrounding areas to desist from harassing and threatening the victims with violence and reminded them that such acts constitute crimes under the law.

It further warned that it will take immediate action against any perpetrator of violence against them.

On 8th October, police officers were called to bring order after a vigilante group calling itself Nsundwe Barracks stopped people from attending President Peter Mutharika’s rally in Lilongwe arguing that he occupied the post illegally as according to them he was not duly elected.

Police had to come in to quell the situation and remove illegal roadblocks the group had mounted and running battles ensued during the process leading to the murder of Superintendent Isuman Imedi who led the police team by the irate residents.