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Parliament confirms Merlyne Yolamu as police Inspector General

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Joyce Chitsulo

Parliament Friday approved the appointment of Merlyne Yolamu as new Inspector General of Police.

Her confirmation makes her the first woman to head Malawi Police Service after the government’s failed attempt with late Mary Nangwale in 2005 during late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration.

Yolamu received support from both sides of the chamber, such that the House settled for a voice vote other than a secret ballot as required by the rules of the House.

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Minister of Homeland Security Jean Sendeza spoke highly of her “excellent professional experience and academic qualifications”.

She added that Yolamu has demonstrated high levels of integrity and hard work for the past 35 years she has worked in the service.

Sendeza said the government is very happy that the House unanimously agreed to confirm Yolamu on the position.

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“The President has seen that women are in leadership positions and this means he has gender issues at heart. The Malawi Police Service is supposed to be apolitical and I know that she will be in that line, following the Constitution,” she said.

Chairperson of Public Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joyce Chitsulo, added that a report from the Anti-Corruption Bureau cleared of her involvement in any corrupt practice including the food rations deal worth $7.8 million.

“From the responses during the hearing, the appointee demonstrated passion and zeal to transform the police service into an independent and professional service.

“The appointee demonstrated sufficient knowledge and expertise in the work of the police and provided practical and workable solutions to the challenges facing the police service,” she said

Both the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) supported the appointment.

DPP spokesperson Mark Botomani said they had no reason to reject her appointment but demanded patriotism, impartiality and integrity from her.

Botoman; said their support is not because of her gender but the party believes that she has what it takes to head the security agency.

“We expect her to be professional. As head of the service, she should rise above politics in discharging her duties, because these things have a way of coming back to her,” he said.

Before rising to the position, Yolamu was Deputy IG of police responsible for administration since January 2021 and she has been in service since the age of 22.

She holds a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management obtained from the University of London, under Commonwealth scholarship.

Following her confirmation, she is the 22nd Inspector General of Police since 1981.

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