BY MACDONALD THOM:
Parliament Wednesday confirmed the appointment of 58-year-old Rodney Jose as new Inspector General (IG) of Malawi Police Service (MPS).
President Peter Mutharika appointed Jose as acting IG in April, replacing Lexten Kachama who is on leave pending retirement on Saturday.
It was, however, not an easy task as most Members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition benches felt Jose was not suitable for the position.
But through a secret ballot, 96 MPs were in support of the appointment while those against it were 55 with two abstaining.
Malawi Congress Party shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Maxwell Thyolera, said although Jose is qualified, there were a number of factors that had to be considered before his confirmation for the position.
“We have perused Mr Jose’s CV. He has gone through all the ranks. However, a Commission of Inquiry Report on the murder of Robert Chasowa [in 2011] named Mr Jose as one of those who masterminded the act. To date, he has not been cleared. And today, we are in this House discussing his appointment as Inspector General,” Thyolera said.
He also highlighted recent events such as police officers’ beating of journalists and the police’s failure to handle violence perpetrated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters.
Thyolera also mentioned the police’s failure to conclude investigations into the 2015 murder of Issa Njauju as another weakness of MPS during the time he was holding other senior positions.
“The Malawi Congress Party recommends that the name should be referred to the Public Appointments Committee [of Parliament],” Thyolera said.
Speaking on behalf of the People’s Party (PP), Rumphi East MP, Kamlepo Kalua, said there are issues that had to be considered when confirming Jose.
When tabling the motion to confirm Jose on the position, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Cecilia Chazama, said Jose has what it takes to lead MPS.
“He has vast experience in management of security issues. He is hard-working, dedicated and resourceful,” Chazama said.
In her winding-up statement to the debate, Chazama responded to some of the issues the MPs raised. On the Chasowa report, for instance, she said: “Right Honourable Speaker, anyone of us could appear before a Commission of Inquiry. Another government department was supposed to take over from there.”
Zomba Chisi MP, Mark Bottoman, who seconded the motion also described Jose as a hard-working and patriotic police officer.
Among others, Jose holds a diploma in advanced management, certificate in law enforcement and a senior management development studies and coaching.
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