Barely a few days after President Peter Mutharika appointed tri-services commanders at Malawi Defence Force (MDF), he has removed
Major General Alick Bentry Mhone as Army Commander of Landed Forces. Mutharika has instead appointed Davis Mtachi as Landed Forces Commander.
Mtachi was promoted to the rank of Major General. MDF spokesperson, Paul Chiphwanya, has described the changes as normal.
Mid July 2019, Mutharika appointed tri-services commanders and deputy commanders of MDF.
Mutharika appointed Mhone Army Commander of Landed Forces with Brigadier General Davis Sesatino Mtachi as his deputy.
But Chiphwanya Monday said there have been changes and Army Commander of Landed Forces is Mtachi, who was appointed deputy of Landed Forces when Mutharika made the initial appointments.
“I wish to inform the public that, previously, it was indicated that the President appointed Major General Alick Mhone the Land Forces Commander and Brigadier General Mtachi his deputy. However, as of last week, there are some changes. Mtachi was promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed Land Forces Commander,” he said.
Chiphwanya said the President has the powers to appoint people to such positions.
“Brigadier General Elias Mpasu was appointed the Deputy Land Forces Commander. It is the President who has the powers regarding these appointments and we just received communication on the same from the President,” he said.
Major General Andrew Lapken Namathanga was appointed Airforce Commander with Brigadier General Ian MacLeod Chirwa as his deputy.
Mutharika also appointed Maritime Forces Commander Brigadier General Francis Blessings Kakhuta Banda while Colonel Richard Chagonapanja was named as his deputy.
But the President’s Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, Monday said he was not aware of the changes.
“Those things are administrative and are normally handled by the Chief Secretary so I should try to get in touch with him because I am hearing it from you, and that is why the communication of the appointments of the commanders also came from the Chief Secretary [to the Office of the President],” he said.