Inspector General (IG) of Police, Rodney Jose, Monday rubbished allegations connecting him to governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Briefing reporters in Lilongwe Monday jointly with Malawi Defence Force Army Commander, Vincent Nundwe, Jose said he had never been a DPP loyalist.
Responding to questions from reporters, Jose said it was unfortunate that Malawians had made many allegations, including that the police was recruiting, training and equipping DPP cadets.
“Ineyo Inspector General wanu; you have called me a DPP Inspector General. I have worked in Malawi Police Service for 36 years. When did I become a Cadet?
“I am about to retire, when did I become a Cadet? Ndagwira ntchito kuchokera nthawi ya [Dr Hastings] Kamuzu Banda, kubwera nthawi ya Bakili Muluzi, kubwera nthawi ya malemu Bingu wa Mutharika, mpaka nthawi ya mai Joyce Banda, pano nthawi ya Professor Peter Mutharika. When did I become a Cadet? When did I become a blue-eyed boy?” A visibly and audibly angry Jose said.
He said the police have neither trained cadets nor supplied firearms to them.
The police chief maintained his demand to organisers of anti- Justice Jane Ansah demonstrations, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), to stop the demonstrations for the sake of peace.
Jose cited security reasons and lack of capacity among concerned parties to stop the violence that has been erupting during the demonstrations.
“The Malawi Police Service has recorded a worrisome number of cases of injury to persons and damage to property during demonstrations that the Human Rights Defenders Coalition has been convening after the May 21 2019 [Tripartite] Elections.
“All these demonstrations have been convened as peaceful; however, in all cases, they have turned violent and have resulted in injury to persons, extensive damage to property and looting despite all the efforts by the Malawi Police Service to provide security,” Jose said.
In his remarks, Nundwe said the role of the military in the demonstrations was to help the police where they are overwhelmed, adding that the Republic of Malawi Constitution allows MDF to provide expertise to civil authorities.
However, at the weekend, University of Livingstonia-based political analyst George Phiri and social commentator Rafik Hajat described the police’s call as irresponsible.
“We need to understand that demonstrations are a constitutional right of citizens when they are disappointed with the way public services are being managed. The police have no mandate or whatsoever to stop demonstrators from demonstrating for what they consider to be infringement of their rights,” Phiri said.
“If the police are saying they have failed to provide the services to the public then that police must be fired because the police is supposed to provide security services and enforce the law as they have been trained. But if the police, after all the training that they get, are failing to provide security then they must be fired.”
Hajat said the call was tantamount to the State abrogating its responsibilities thereby undermining its mandate.
“One of the responsibilities of the State is to provide security for its citizens and provide law and order. If they feel that the demonstrations are becoming violent, it is actually because of opportunists who vandalise property. Those elements can be controlled if they worked together with the organisers of the demonstrations,” he said.
HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, said they would continue holding demonstrations until Ansah resigns for allegedly mismanaging May 21 Tripartite Election results.