Malawi College of Medicine Professor Muula lodges complaint to Police IG over teargassing hospital

Demonstrations gone awry

By Duncan Mlanjira

Malawi College of Medicine lecturer, Professor Adamson S. Muula has lodged a complaint to Malawi Police Service Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa over his officers overzealous action of dispersing demonstrators by teargas those that had fled into the compound of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Hospital (QECH) on Tuesday September 24.

The police action greatly affected the referral hospital’s patients, staff and guardians and Professor Muula says he is requesting that such adventurous actions by some police officers should never happen again.

“My writing as a private citizen and a medical practitioner registered with the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) is to request that you institute an inquiry on this matter to ensure that the perpetrators of this action are brought to book and should never have a chance again to bring the MPS into disrepute.

DPP supporters at Ginnery Corner

“Sir, I believe you have been appraised with information that on the day that HRDC and their members planned and instituted a protest march on a certain agenda item, running battles ensued among several parties including the Malawi Police Service. 

“In the fracas that ensued and a considerable distance from where the fracas emerged, the Malawi Police Service fired teargas into the QECH compounds.

“While, of course, we have to be aware of the potential for witnesses and social media to conflate and mislead when things like these happen, reasonable credible footage has been shared where patients, guardians and hospital staff are seen scampering for cover as teargas smoke engulfs some sections of QECH. 

“Sir, ordinarily I would have wished not to comment because I am a public servant but also because others have done so already. 

“However, such silence goes against the Hippocratic Oath which I made which compels me to respect the sanctity of human life, and especially that of vulnerable patients. 

“Those patients may not have access to you. But I have. The members of the Police who fired teargas into QECH compounds may not appreciate the full extent of their actions. 

“But I believe you do. I therefore find it not only sad but in fact reprehensive that, for whatever gain, adults could be playing with teargas canisters within hospital compounds.

“In sum Sir, I write to add one more citizen voice to condemn, just as I believe you do, what happened,” Muula said in the letter copied to Speaker of the National Assembly, Minister of Homeland Affairs, Attorney General, QECH Director and Medical Council of Malawi.