The incident in Mzuzu where a driver was accidentally shot by the Police shows a worrying trend.
Recently we have had several incidents with police and improper use and handling of fire arms. In Lilongwe recently several people were shot dead by plain clothes police men in what can only be described as a “death squad” type of action.
Our policemen go around carrying weapons, but not having enough training in handling them properly. According to the story the police men were “toying” with the rifle. Every one of us knows a rifle is not a toy. A rifle is a deadly weapon and needs to be handled properly, and only handled by a person sufficiently trained and disciplined to handle it safely. Clearly, toying with a weapon is bad and childish practice, and handling a weapon with ammunition in the chamber and the safety off is completely irresponsible. (I presume the weapon was in proper condition, just imagine the disaster if our police are going around with weapons that are not in proper condition)
Bringing these police officers to book is just the first step. What we need to do is:
1. Establish which of our police officers have been properly trained, and have had enough practice recently to be licensed to go around with a fire arm
2. Disarm all those that are not properly trained
3. Reinstruct all police officers on the rules of engagement including proper handling of weapons, and make the policy public, so the public knows what we are dealing with.
4. Uphold the rule of engagement 100%.
5. Train all those police officers that need to handle a weapon in the cause of duty.
6. Fire those officers that are not 100% compliant with the rules of engagement.
That is the way to keep the public safe from trigger happy types that may be trying to infiltrate our police service.