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Parliament saves Inspector General

George Kainja

Joyce Chitsulo

Parliamentary committees on Public Appointments and Defence and Security Thursday said Malawi Police Service (MPS) Inspector General (IG) George Kainja was not to blame for security inefficiencies in the country.

Members of the two committees summoned Kainja Thursday after Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) alleged that he was incompetent following rising cases of crime in February this year.

However, the two committees observed that a lack of resources was hampering MPS’ operations.

Cluster chairperson Joyce Chitsulo said, upon hearing from Kainja, it was clear that MPS did not have the required resources for efficient service delivery.

She said the service did not have enough vehicles and personnel, which is at 12,000 against the needed 32,000 officers.

“Most of the time, police officers are disgruntled not because of the IG but because of the motivation factors that are lacking. We will push the [Central] Government to make sure that the security service is well resourced,” she said.

Chitsulo also said the allegations leveled against Kainja were beyond individual competence but hinged on the security institution as a whole.

“There is an information gap on how promotions are made in the police service. It is not the duty of the IG but Police Service Commission that does the promotion and it is headed by a Supreme Court of Appeal justice. On transfers, it is within his mandate, according to police standing orders, to make transfers for security reasons,” she said.

The committee members have since vowed to engage the Police Service Commission on the issue of promotions.

In an interview on the outcry over security lapses in the country, Kainja said, statistically, the crime rate was on the lower side but the security concerns had been exacerbated by recent crimes of impact registered.

“There is an increase in fear of crime. If you look at the crimes committed in the country, they are crimes of need. Most crimes are committed seasonally and the crime trend has shown that most of the crimes occur during the lean period because people look for food,’ he said.

Kainja said security would improve because the government had planned to buy more vehicles and recruit 1,000 officers.

In an interview, Cdedi Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa insisted that if Kainja continued to head the police service, security in the country would continue to be compromised.

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