Malawi Police have strongly defended its decision to leave the protection of deputy Inspector General of Police John Nyondo to Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers during the presentation of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) over the infamous Msundwe cops-perpetrated sexual violence.
Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the protesters were angry with the police and were armed.
"We were there only that the protesters did not allow the police to be near them. The protesters were armed with catapults and stones among others so we had to ensure that the deputy IG is well protected," said Kadadzera.
Nyondo, in combat headgear, was surrounded by armed soldiers as he received the petition from Timothy Mtambo and Jessie Kabwila.
Armoured MDF vehicles were also on standby.
At least 17 people, including minors under the age of 17 were arrested during the demonstrations for stoning and wounding police officers, smashing vehicles, breaking shops and looting among others.