Traffic police told to carry guns
Malawi Police Service (MPS) has issued instructions that traffic officers should be accompanied by an armed officer when undertaking their duties on roads.
Deputy National Police Public Relations Officer Harry Namwaza has confirmed the development, saying it is in line with laws governing MPS.
A memo issued on Tuesday, signed by in-charge of Traffic and Transport, Dorothy Kawale, urges all police officers to treat the matter seriously to make sure lives of the law enforcers are protected.
“The memo was an internal communication for [MPS] and it should not be a concern to the public because police officers have always carried guns when they go around performing their constitutional duties. So this is not a new thing,” he said.
He added that the availability of armed police officers at police checkpoints will also help protect lives and property of both the law enforcers and civilians.
Of late, there has been an increase in cases of traffic police officers being attacked by road users while performing their duties.
Commentators have called on the service to quickly find solutions by addressing the issue of simmering relationship between civilians and the law enforcers, saying it is dangerous in fighting crime.
Minister of Homeland Security Jean Sendeza also ordered Police Inspector General George Kainja to find ways of making sure there is co-existence between police officers and civilians.