Malawi Army Commander condemns speculation about government takeover

Nundwe (L) with President Chakwera

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has lashed out at speculation that Malawi Soldiers are planning to go on strike and to take over government, saying people who spread such rumors are foolish.

He made the remarks this morning at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima where officer cadets were commissioned and there was also a pass-out parade for new recruits.

Nundwe expressed concern over a social media prophecy by a pastor who claimed that there was an imminent strike by soldiers and another post speculating about a military takeover. He added that there were also claims that he had been detained by soldiers.

“People who spread such claims are fools. They don’t know what they are talking about, a coup is war. Look at what is happening in Ethiopia where soldiers are fighting. And is that what we want to bring to Malawi because someone wants a position? We will not tolerate.

“Let’s not bring conflict in Malawi, it is peaceful, let it remain peaceful,” said Nundwe.

He added: “When we have issues we go straight to the commander in chief because we belive dialogue is what is important. A soldier does not take issues to the streets.”

The Army Commander further stated that as Malawi Defence Force soldiers, they will never attempt to influence domestic politics nor allow interference from different individuals.

He also condemned some Malawi Army soldiers for lobbying positions from politicians. Nundwe further noted that there was some time in the past when letters were coming from the Office of the President and Cabinet deploying military officers and promoting them.

“We can’t accept that. It is the army that gives ranks to officers,” said Nundwe.

Speaking during the event, President Lazarus Chakwera said he expects MDF to stay true to its mandate, to citizens, to Malawi Constitution and  to the nation’s flag.

During the event, Chakwera commissioned 151 officer cadets and presided over the passing out parade of 1,055 military recruits who have successfully completed a one-year training and four-month basic training respectively.