Members of Parliament (MPs) Wednesday confirmed the appointment of George Kainja as Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service.
Kainja’s confirmation came after the Public Appointments Committee presented his assessment report which highly recommended his confirmation.
However, the process in the chamber also exposed divisions in the opposition camp.
While spokesperson of the Democratic Progressive Party on security issues, Chipiliro Mpinganjira, spoke against the confirmation of Kainja citing a number of reasons including what he described as his questionable academic qualifications, United Democratic Front spoke highly of the appointment.
Traditionally, the confirmation of a Police IG is done using a secret ballot voting system as per Parliament Standing Orders but on Wednesday Parliament had to vary the Standing Orders so that voting be done verbally after Parliament adopted a motion to that effect moved by Government Chief Whip, Kezzie Msukwa.
When the matter was put to a vote, the government side agreed to the confirmation while the opposition side remained silent.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Kainja said he was humbled to be confirmed by Parliament and said he would work hard to transform the police service.
“I am excited. I am humbled by the confirmation of Parliament. It actually demonstrates the trust that Parliament has in me. Going forward, all I am saying is that I will not fail the Parliament itself, I will not fail the President who appointed me, I will not fail Malawians,” Kainja said.
Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, said he was happy that the august House had approved the appointment of Kainja as IG.
Banda described Kainja as a true professional who is capable of transforming MPS.
He said Kainja has gradually risen in the police service over the years and is experienced enough to repair the soiled image the law enforcers have had over the years.
Banda added that Kainja has demonstrated professionalism over the two months he has been in office by, among other things, arresting the untouchables.
President Lazarus Chakwera in June this year appointed Kainja as acting IG pending Parliament’s approval.
On Tuesday, Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson, Gift Trapence, said Kainja had demonstrated his capabilities as police IG during the two months he had been acting in that capacity.