Inspector General (IG) of Police, George Kainja, has defended multiple transfers and change of positions of senior police officers within the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
In his written response to the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi), which queried some recent changes, Kainja said when he took office his immediate focus was to restore public trust and professionalism that were lost.
“One way of doing that was to examine the capacity and capability of the officers holding critical positions and consider placing them in strategic positions to achieve that much needed paradigm shift within the shortest time possible,” he says.
Kainja also indicated that some changes in positions are aimed at bringing professionalism at the MPS adding that they have embarked on the police reforms in line with the government drive towards the public reforms.
“Thus my office has indeed made transfers of senior officers to fill in critical and strategic positions,” he said.
The recent transfers include that of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nepier Chafikana who has been moved from Directorate of Police Prosecution to Lingadzi Police where he is Officer-in-Charge and has been replaced by Deputy Commissioner of Police Mwabi Kaluba.
Kainja says Chafikana has been heading the Prosecution Department despite not being a lawyer.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Stain Chaima, was moved from Directorate of Criminal Investigation Department to Officer in-Charge at Salima and was replaced by late Bob Mtekama who was Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Mtekama died in August this year after succumbing to diabetes.
Cdedi Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa confirmed having received the letter from the Inspector General.
Namiwa said the letter from the IG has raised some legal issues that will require the organisation to involve legal experts.
He also said the organisation’s efforts are not a personal battle with Kainja, but aimed at making sure that the MPS is reformed and that police officers are not abused.
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.