HRDC joins calls demanding justice for unarmed Blessings Nyondo

Late Blessings Nyondo

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has given the Malawi Police Service (MPS) five days to immediately arrest, duly charge, and fiercely prosecute late Blessings Nyondo’s assailant and his accomplices.

Blessings Nyondo, a second year Computer Engineering student of the Polytechnic sadly succumbed to bullet wounds. He was shot multiple times around Kwacha roundabout in Blantyre on the night of the 31st December, 2020 allegedly by a police officer and/or a Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) security guard.

The HRDC says it is unbelievable, outright insensitive, and incoherent of the Malawi Police Service to feed the nation a narrative that the late Blessings Nyondo was a robbery suspect.

In a statement dated, signed by its chairperson, Gift Trapence, the HRDC says it has good information that Blessings Nyondo was a victim of the alleged robbery and was just seeking refuge in the MBC vehicle.

The HRDC says the official MPS statement on circumstances surrounding the unwarranted and reckless shooting of Blessings does not only contradict numerous testimonies from people who know Blessings, but also how the MPS eventually handled Blessings after the shooting.

"We will not sit back and watch the MPS militate against its very own mandate –to protect lives and property,’’ reads part of the statement.

The HRDC says the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi provides for the right to life in section 16(1) that such life shall not be arbitrarily deprived, saying all forms of arbitrary deprivation of life by any person, including law enforcement agents, are unacceptable in Malawi.

The organisation has since warned the Malawi Police Service that at the expiry of 5 working days, if arrests are not made, it will have no choice but to mobilize Malawians for vigil at the Southern Region Police headquarters to demand justice for the late Blessings Nyondo.

Nyondo died of the said bullet wounds on Saturday.