New Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander, General Peter Namathanga, has said he will ensure that MDF continues to discharge its duties professionally and that it remains apolitical.
Namathanga was speaking at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe when he received a sword of command from outgoing MDF Commander, General Vincent Nundwe.
Namathanga takes over from Nundwe who has been hailed by many as a disciplined and democratic commander who ensured that the men in uniform discharged their duties professionally during tense political moments.
Among others, Nundwe is credited for the professionalism that MDF soldiers exhibited during demonstrations which erupted in the wake of the disputed May 21 presidential election.
Namathanga, who joined MDF in 1980, said he was humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Malawi’s defence force.
He also hailed Nundwe for “his professionalism” throughout his 42 years of service in the defence institution.
“Let me take this opportunity to assure all Malawians that MDF will continue discharging its constitutional duties in a professional way while maintaining an apolitical stance. We know our duty and we will do it right,” Namathanga said.
On his part, Nundwe hailed MDF soldiers for the support they gave him during the 10 months he was at the helm of MDF.
He said he is leaving a happy man after serving the institution for 42 years.
Nundwe said he has no hard feelings with anyone and urged Namathanga to be diligent and bold when discharging his duties.
“I am going home a happy man,” he said.
Nundwe took over from General Griffin Spoon Phiri who had been at the helm of the defence institution from July 2016 to June 2019.
President Peter Mutharika appointed Namathanga MDF Commander on March 18, making him the fifth MDF chief under Mutharika’s reign which is in its sixth year.