CDEDI wants Ombudsman to investigate claims of nepotism at Malawi Police

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has written the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate allegations of nepotism in the promotion of senior officers at Malawi Police Service (MPS).

In a letter to the Ombudsman, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa said CDEDI has established that there is no officer from the southern region districts in the current Police High Command.

Namiwa noted that the Police High Command was designed in such a way that it should reflect the social, cultural, and geographical aspects of Malawi but it is not the case under Inspector General (IG) George Kainja.

According to Namiwa, during a meeting with Kainja, the IG claimed that he is not involved in the promotion of senior officers into the Police High Command.

But CDEDI has established that the IG sits on the interviewing panel for the Police Service Commission, for the recruitment of officers into the Police High Command, and that the IG makes recommendations to the commission to base their decisions on.

“As such reports about nepotism in the MPS, are not only valid but can be attributed to the current IG’s desire,” said Namiwa in the letter.

Namiwa has also quashed a statement from the National Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the MPS, James Kadadzera, dated 6th October 2021 which was headlined “False Accusations of Nepotism in the Malawi Police Service” saying it was just an attempt to discredit CDEDI’s findings using legal jargons and sections but miserably failed to prove its revelations wrong.

“In fact, the statement contradicted what the IG said about the composition of the Police High Command, but opted to hide behind the laws. This is an attempt to use the law to victimize police officers from one region,” he said.

In the letter to the Ombudsman Grace Malera, Namiwa has also pointed out recent events which have led to reservations on the conduct by the police, especially on their heavy handedness on unarmed and helpless citizens such as women, children and the elderly.

He said the use of excessive force on citizens when exercising their right to demonstrations and industrial actions; and victimization of police officers from the southern region are just but a few examples of conduct that bleeds the current glaring nepotism.

Namiwa has since asked the Ombudsman to use the powers vested in it, through the Republican Constitution, to investigate and conduct a public inquiry on the above stated concerns because he believes that what is happening at the MPS, poses a threat to the country’s national unity.