Some overzealous police officers fired teargas that left some students with disabilities stranded in their locked rooms. These students could not run to safety as others did. It is reported that some even suffocated.
This happened on Friday as University of Malawi-UNIMA students in Zomba were protesting against what they described as unfavorable academic calendar.
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 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,” says Eastern Region Deputy Police Commissioner, Kelvin Mlezo.
Mlezo claims they have since instituted an investigation on the officers who did this. He pledges disciplinary action on them.
The apology comes as the students plan anti-police demos on Monday for what happened.
UNIMA Students Representative Council President, Charles Dokera says they have rejected the verbal apology from the police.
“We need a statement of a public apology from the Commissioner. We are not accepting the verbal one. We gave them 24 hours to address the issue and time is ticking,” warns Dokera.
Previously, Inspector General of Police, Merlyn Yolamu also strongly spoke against careless firing of teargas by some police officers during crowd control, mostly in demonstrations.