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Inspector General warns officers off social networks

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Inspector General (IG) of Malawi Police Service (MPS) Lexten Kachama has ordered his officers to stop “playing” on whatsApp and other internet services available on their phones when they are on duty.

Kachama, among others things, said the tendency represents a bad reputation for the law enforcers whom he said instead of protecting people’s lives and property, they spend a lot of time on their phones communicating with friends.

He was speaking in Mangochi on Tuesday when he presided over the opening of the first Networking Conference for female police officers from the Eastern Region.

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The Police Chief said he was particularly disappointed with the newly recruited female officers, whom he said when given tasks in strategic places like roadblocks, they disregard their duties and concentrate their efforts on WhatsApp and other games on their phones.

“I am very worried with the young girls we are recruiting nowadays. These girls need to be talked to because some of them spend a lot of time on WhatsApp, thereby exposing themselves and the people they are supposed to protect from attacks by thieves. This must stop forthwith because it is creating a bad image for the service,” Kachama said.

He recommended to the senior officers to always make sure that, while embracing change, the MPS is maintaining its core traditional of protecting people’s lives without compromise.

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“It is very bad to see police officers busy on their phones while the President is passing by. In our time we used to spend more time on phones when we were off duty. This habit is common among female officers and we will deal with that if it continues,” Kachama said.

Speaking earlier, Commissioner of Police for Eastern Region, Effie Kaitano, asked the Inspector General to consider promoting some women whom she said had stayed on the same rank for over 12 years.

But Kachama said the MPS is currently working on some establishments which he said will pave the way for more promotions once the process is completed.

He further dismissed speculations that promotions within the service were motivated by nepotism and other nonprofessional considerations.

“You should know that we cannot promote everyone at once. Our promotions are based on the available vacancies. So I am urging you to be patient and work hard in order to be considered for promotion,” Kachama said.

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