Commander of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) General Vincent Nundwe has received the award of Africa Peace and Security Leader of the year 2020.
African Leadership Magazine has awarded Nundwe for his leadership role when Malawians were holding anti-government demonstrations between 2019 and 2020 and MDF soldiers played the role of guardian angels for citizens.
The magazine indicates that the award is also in recognition of Nundwe’s contributions to peace-keeping efforts in Africa.
“This recognition is for what the MDF contributed during the demonstrations in 2020. As the commander of MDF, those who nominated me found it that it was unique for the military to side with the demonstrators.
“Normally, the military sides with the government but we were looked at as siding with the demonstrators,” he said.
Nundwe described the award as “important” as it demonstrated that the MDF operates professionally and that “it is not pressurised” by sectors that have their own interests.
He said the MDF was part of the process of guaranteeing peace and security as well as protecting citizens.
“For the [MDF] officers, this award should show that they can do their work without being pressurised by any sector,” Nundwe said.
Malawi had shown the world that it was truly democratic, he said, further indicating that this demonstrates that arms of the government could work independently, as evidenced by the Judiciary’s role in Malawi’s democratic progresses during the period in question.
In March 2020, former president Peter Mutharika fired Nundwe, but President Lazarus Chakwera reinstated him after emerging victorious in the June 23 2020 fresh presidential election.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.