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Police Inspector General’s fate today

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The future of George Kainja as Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police Service will be decided today when Parliament discusses his confirmation following an announcement by Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara on Monday.

President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Kainja as new IG, replacing Duncan Mwapasa, who was serving as police boss in acting capacity.

But according to Section 154 of the Constitution, the IG shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by the National Assembly by a majority of the members present and voting.

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The Section further says the Public Appointments Committee may at any time inquire as to the competence of the person so appointed to carry out the duties of that office and as to such other questions as may have direct bearing on the performance of the duties of that office.

The confirmation of a police IG has become a delicate issue in recent times with the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) objecting the appointment of two IGs, Rodney Jose and Mwapasa.

But speaking in an interview Tuesday, HRDC Chairperson, Gift Trapence, appealed to lawmakers to confirm Kainja as IG of Police.

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Trapence said HRDC is impressed with his professionalism the short time he has been acting.

He said during the past months, through his leadership, police arrested police officers who are suspected to have killed Buleya Lule.

“His leadership has also seen the arrest of those suspects connected to the torching and killing of the Tambala family. HRDC has also seen the arrest of some high profile individuals connected to various crimes,” Trapence said.

However, other observers including the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (Cdedi) have asked the government to put on hold the confirmation process of Kainja, accusing him of being unprofessional and victimising other senior officers.

Cdedi, in a statement released by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, has also demanded that transfers which MPS has effected on senior police officers should be put on hold apparently because they have not been arrived at in good faith.

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