Let us delve into a subject matter that most would classify as being a little more delicate, shall we? For times without number, we have all put out a good act, pretending to be pious and yet, behind closed doors or indeed when the world is not watching, we have been nothing but naughty, mischievous and conniving beings.
Take, for example, the happenings at Area 30 the previous week. We heard the Malawi Police Service (MPS), through its spokesperson James Kadadzera, announcing that they had sent on forced leave one of the senior commissioners, Stan Kaliza, following sexual assault allegations. It did not end there. Through the statement by Kadadzera, we would later learn that an investigation into the sexual assault allegations had commenced, whose findings would inform the decision of the Police Service Commission, which is tasked with disciplining senior officers.
Suffice to say that the Inspector General of Police, George Kainja, was quoted in the local press as saying that it is a misconception to think that the promotion process in MPS rests in the hands of one person.
I would not want to rush into judging Kaliza harshly, as many have done, but to wait until the conclusion of the investigation sanctioned by Area 30. But then another question that has dominated discussions among many groups is; what becomes of the promoted officers among the 45 women implicated in the issue? Why have we not had vocal groups lobbying ferociously that they revert to their old posts or, indeed, be demoted since the ‘upward adjustment’ came on a silver platter? Again, let us not be quick to judge the women but give the sanctioned investigations the benefit of doubt that it will clear all the cobwebs and put everyone’s mind at ease.
But, then, hang on just a minute! It seems there is more brewing at the Police headquarters than what meets the eye because the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) too is watching developments closely as some female police officers also filed a complaint with MHRC. Certainly, MPS had a week to forget in light of these unfolding developments.
I will not try and pretend to take the holier, than, thou route because we too, in the media, ought to hang our heads in shame after a damning report about similar kind of pattern at public broadcaster MBC by one former boss.
The report was just too much and those of us who earn our bread and butter by spreading the ink, or indeed chattering away on radio and television, felt that our reputation took a huge dent. But I cannot spew much since there is another matter in relation to the same that is being heard in court.
Allow me, at this point, to make a citation from the good book, Mathew chapter 7 verse 5 (King James Version):
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eyes and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
It is on this understanding that I would urge everyone to hold their horses while in the same breathe not trying to exonerate the police commissioner before the investigations sanctioned by Area 30 are concluded.
But, then, when you come to think of it, this all goes to show just how rotten the moral fabric has become in our society. It is not a secret that carpet interviews are dominating in most organisations and, sadly, this deprives institutions a chance to get the best out of people with so much potential, who are being limited simply because they cannot not dance to the whims of a ‘demanding’ superior while those who thrive on these carpet interviews are soaring in the sky. Some young and productive citizens, especially ladies graduating from colleges and universities, are finding it hard to penetrate the job market simply because somebody somewhere would want them to undergo ‘carpet interviews’ but they recognise that their lives and integrity are far too important than any job or crooked schemes.
Turning back to Area 30, allow me to, again, turn to the Bible, specifically John chapter 8 verse 7 (King James Version):
So when they continued asking him, he lifted himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Which is why, in a typical Police style, all I can say to Area 30 is that the Malawi nation awaits to hear the truth and nothing but the truth, hence there should not be any biases… ‘chain’ sir!
Stephen Dakalira is a seasoned Journalist who works as Times Group’s Online and Digital Executive Editor. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times Newspaper, and author of Full Circle column which appears in Malawi News; all of these under the Times Group stable.
He has previously worked in key positions for some of Malawi’s key media institutions such as Malawi News Agency, Capital FM Radio and Star Radio (Now Timveni Radio).