Euthini police unit in Mzimba is being guarded by a civilian watchman a thing which has led to some suspects escaping lawful custody on numerous occasions.
This was revealed when, Purple Innovations for Women and Girls conducted a dialogue session where it pooled together police representation from the police unit, the district police station, and community representatives from Euthini to discuss some allegations being leveled by communities around the area of Inkosi Chindi against the men in Uniform.
Apart from being accused of using a civilian watchman to man the cells police at Euthini unit, the law enforcers are also being accused of failing to arrest defilement suspects and releasing some arrested suspects on dubious bails.
Mary Ngwira a resident around Euthini is shocked by the conduct of officers at the police unit.
"We are surprised that police are contributing money to pay a civilian watchman to guard cells when they are sleeping at their homes is this being professional ?', argues Ngwira.
Ngwira said on numerous occasions suspects including those who committed defilement offenses have escaped from lawful custody at the police unit after they allegedly broke the cells.
"On a number of occasions we have been told that suspects have escaped the police officers tell us that they broke the doors to the cells but we believe they may be some conniving with the officers", said Ngwira.
According to Ngwira when the members apprehend defilement suspects and hand them over to the police officers most of the times they are free within days after being given bail by police.
Chairperson for Chindi Area development committee Malaulira Chibaka believes such conduct by the men in uniform at the facility is because they receive bribes as they have overstayed in the area.
" We as the community feel the police receive bribes for them to be releasing defilement suspects on bail some of them have overstayed in the area hence they have built strong relations with the society ", said Chibaka.
Meanwhile, Mzimba police officer in charge Stain Chaima feigned ignorance on the matter but was quick to say his office will investigate the allegations.
Such allegations compelled Purple Innovations for Women and Girls to bring the police, the community, and other stakeholders to discuss the allegations being leveled against the men in uniform.
The organization's project officer Liness Kwata says the dialogue session was meant to discuss the way forward on how various stakeholders around their catchment area can complement each other in ensuring that women and girls are not facing any kind of violence.
" So we decided to bring all the concerned stakeholders together including police officers from the district police station, social welfare officers, mother group representatives to discuss the allegations being leveled against the police and map the way forward",said Kwata.
Kwata said she was optimistic by the outcome of the session as the police have committed themselves to look into the issue which has the potential to derail the fight against gender-based violence.
"We believe the dialogue session has been crucial as it has provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss how best they can address the situation regarding the conduct of the police and other pertinent issues on gender-based violence", said Kwata.
Purple Innovations for women and girls is implementing a spotlight Initiative project aimed at ending gender based violence in Mzimba and Nkhata bay district with finding from EU through UN women.