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Peter Mutharika should fire new police chief

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Civil society organisation leaders have spoken. They are unanimous in their call for President Peter Mutharika to fire the new inspector general of police Rodney Jose.

They are all horrified that Mutharika has appointed Jose who has one or two explanations to make regarding the brutal killing of Robert Chasowa, the Polytechnic fourth year student.

It should be mentioned here that Jose is not a suspect in the murder case, his name was mentioned in the Commission of Inquiry on Robert Chasowa report because, according to the report, he had interacted with Chasowa just before the student’s death.

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I think the CSOs have a point, a very good point. It would be immoral to have him as our IG before the Chasowa murder case has even started in the courts.

Mr Jose might have known one or two things on the Chasowa issue, therefore appointing him IG at this moment would derail the police investigation process as junior police officers might have their hands tight to probe their own boss.

In addition, as police chief, he might have powers to influence the outcome of the investigation.

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I am free to have my own opinion on this matter because the state has not yet taken the Chasowa suspects to court for hearing although Malawians are anxious to know who killed Chasowa, why and where and other details such as if the state had a hand in this brutal murder of a young engineering student.

The other question that often comes to mind is, why has the president decided to hire Jose just a year before the 2019 general election?

Is he the blue eyed boy of the blue Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who would ensure that the elections are “free, fair and credible?”

I do not want to make hasty conclusions on the issue but the presidential decision on the appointment of the new IG raises more questions than answers.

President Peter Mutharika is not obliged by law to give reasons for the firing of Lexten Kachama but our head of state should know that the decision has generated a lot of interest than any other appointment of an IG in the recent times.

Malawians seem to be asking the very same question time and again, where did Kachama fail as an IG?

The firing of Kachama and the hiring of the new police chief comes at a time when the DPP and the opposition MCP supporters at Milonde ward in Mulanje are fighting, literally fighting a bloody battle in the run up to the local government by-election.

The firing of Kachama brings me back to memories of 1994 when as a young reporter at the Daily Times; I was involved in the coverage of the firing of Mac William Lunguzi as the police IG by former president Bakili Muluzi.

Lunguzi was re-assigned to ministry of Tourism as principal secretary but after a legal battle, he won the case but Muluzi refused to reinstate him as IG, after all he had already appointed retired law enforcer Feyani Chikosa as police chief.

Lunguzi left the civil service a smiling person after he successfully sued the government for unfair dismissal and I think he was handsomely compensated for Muluzi’s mistake.

Muluzi did not explain why he did not want Lunguzi as IG but his body language clearly showed that he suspected the former police chief to be an MCP cadre.

I am not sure if this is the case with Kachama but for sure the former IG will not sue the government for Mutharika’s decision to fire him although he should expect another post waiting for him, probably a lucrative diplomatic post.

That is how things work in Malawi; I am old enough to read the next move of the president.

However, the DPP should know that it has all the chances of winning the general election with or without the planting of its blue eyed cops in the security.

The DPP-led government has done extremely well in infrastructure development.

We can all see the beautiful network of roads, including feeder roads and thousands of school blocks, hospitals, including the Cancer centre etc.

The only problem with the government is executive arrogance.

This is the problem which is forcing most governments, not only in Malawi but in Africa and elsewhere out of office.

The Joyce Banda administration was kicked out of office by the DPP i n 2014 partly due to executive arrogance, Sierra Leoneans have voted in a opposition leader just this week ending the rule of the APC partly due to executive arrogance, and we saw the celebrated football icon of Liberia George Weah kicking out the ruling party out of government all partly because of executive arrogance.

Leaders in government are becoming their own enemies when it comes to elections because of executive arrogance.

I laughed this week on Monday when the DPP secretary general Grazelder Jeffrey intimidated civil servants at a presidential political rally in Zomba when she said her party would deal with civil servants whom she accused of sabotaging Mutharika’s development agenda.

In the first place, she has no powers whatsoever to intimidate the civil servants.

If the civil servants are doing something wrong, there are rules that deal with such issues.

The secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet was hired just to do that job.

Therefore for Miss Jeffrey to start talking of civil servants on a political podium is not only insensitive but it is politicising the noble civil service job and bringing the profession to disrepute.

This is the executive arrogance Malawians do not need.

Attacking journalists at the same Jali presidential political rally is another executive arrogance.

Politicians have a great role to play to make Malawi a great place to live in, to make Malawi a place of milk and honey.

To do that, they need to spend their energy on more productive issues rather than playing petty issues.

If they do not want to make Malawi great again, we will not go to them begging them to do so but we will simply sort them out at the ballot box!

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