The director of Spirituals, Integrity and Counselling Services in Malawi Police Services (MPS), Rev. Charles Masambuka, has urged police officers in the country to uphold integrity and join the Malawi Police SACCO.
Revered Masambuka was speaking during an audience with police officers at Nkhunga Police Station in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota at the outset of a campaign aimed at promoting integrity of police officers and mobilizing them to join the SACCO.
The Reverend said MPS established the branch of Spirituals, Integrity and Counselling Services in September 2013 to mainstream issues of spirituality and integrity within its operations.
He also disclosed that his office also chairs the Malawi Police Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) which was introduced in 2010 with an aim of promoting social and economic lives of police officers.
“The SACCO encourages a saving culture and provides affordable and accessible loans to its members thereby helping alleviate poverty amongst our police officers,” Rev. Masambuka said.
He observed that police officers have in the past been struggling financially due to lack of programs aimed at promoting a saving culture and financial literacy within the organisation. He said that gone are the days when a police officers used to retire without any savings or a comfortable house.
He stressed that the introduction of the Police SACCO is part of a strategy aimed at promoting the future image of the police service as young and newly recruited officers are being compelled to join the SACCO.
“This will help because the growing crop of police officers is expected to embrace the culture of saving while still young and will be well conversant with issues of finance,” he said.
Malawi Police SACCO started in 2010 with a membership of 67 officers and has recently grown to about 5,000 officers.
During the meeting, Masambuka also reminded officers that police work needs to be performed by officers of high integrity who can be trusted by the citizenry.
“It is sad to note that integrity is currently missing within most of our officers as evidenced by a number of misconducts which our officers are involved in across the country,” lamented the Reverend.
Masambuka provided statistics of disciplinary offences registered by officers in the year 2016 to prove his point.
He said his branch is working with the Performance Standards Units within MPS and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to ensure that integrity is inculcated in its officers. He disclosed that his branch conducts integrity tests which are aimed at measuring levels of integrity among its officers.
According to Masambuka, MPS has a vision of having 25% of its officers working without close supervision by the year 2030.