Ugly scenes were recorded Friday morning in some major cities of the country including Zomba, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Nkhatabay as two security agents exchanged fire during disagreements over prison security.
As the junior prison warders are into the second day of the strike, the police invaded prison premises to take over the task of providing security a development that irked the striking prison warders.
During the commotions in some cities like Mzuzu and Zomba led to open gun fire in full view of civilians, and of course the inmates who could not really figure out what was going on within their vicinity.
Human rights activist Gift Trapence has condemned the move saying this only shows those in control have failed their duties which is very dangerous to the country’s democracy.
“This shows the Minister of Homeland security and the President are not in control because you cannot allow to security agencies to exchange fire against each other, this is a risk to a democracy.” Trapence narrated.
Trapence says there’s need for government to listen to the concerns being raised by the warders and their grievances just as it has managed to help health workers who have also been on strike.
But police has backed its officers for invading prison premises and shooting in the air saying the operation is meant to quell tensions.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera says police only went there to monitor the situation but prison warders misconstrued the police’s operation.
“We actually went there so we could reason with them to follow a proper channel to present their grievances to the management, however when we reached, there was some resistance probably, they did not understand why we were there, so in the process of withdrawing some police officers had to fire in the air,” said Kadadzera.
In Mzuzu and Zomba for instance in Mzuzu police continuously fired in the air a developed that raised a lot of panic among city dwellers.