The Malawi Police Service-MPS has called for a joint investigation between the Malawi Human Rights Commission-MHRC and the Independent Police Complaint Commission into the shooting of five fishermen on Lake Chilwa.
The incident occurred on Saturday morning during a police patrol at Mchenga beach.
This is the first time that the police have made an appeal for joint investigations
The appeal by the law enforcers comes amid a series of incidents involving the men in uniform, which have over the years dented their image leading to a loss of public trust.
In a statement National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera highlights that a joint investigation would ensure that the findings of the investigations are credible.
On the day in mention, Mchenga Beach Village Committee-BVC had hired two police officers from Kachulu Police Unit in Zomba to patrol the lake with the aim of preventing illegal fishing.
Upon arrival at Lingani Fishing Dock, the police officers came across a group of illegal fishermen who were armed with machetes.
The group refused to hand over its fishing net to members of BVC as was requested.
According to Kadadzera, the fishermen then launched an attack on the patrollers and in retaliation; the policemen launched their firearms hoping to protect themselves and BVS members.
Following the scuffle, 3 fishermen succumbed to bullet wounds and 2 others sustained injuries and are receiving treatment at Zomba Central Hospital.
Kadadzera therefore admits that the Malawi Police Service is of the view that excessive force was applied and if investigations confirm this, the officers will be charged with murder.