Malawi army chief goes political

Vincent Nundwe

As rumours keep getting rife that all is not well within the walls of the barracks, the Malawi army chief took time to proselytise before the altar of politicians on Saturday in Salima.

In a pass out parade for fresh army recruits, General Vincent Nundwe took the nation by surprise when he went off script to make comments on the state of affairs in Malawi.

In an unexpected turn for a professional of the coveted defence forces, Nundwe scolded critics of President Lazarus Chakwera, arguing they do not understand economics. He was speaking in light of protests from Malawians who are calling on Chakwera to address economic challenges that the country is facing.

“I am not an economist but some of these things we learnt them. We are in a free market economy. The president cannot just order that the price of fuel should go down,” said Nundwe at the non-political event.

He then went on a tirade against politicians infiltrating the defence forces indicating that some officers were conniving with politicians to get lucrative positions within the military. His remarks have already been censured as ironical considering that Nundwe himself was previously fired by the former President before he was rehired when Chakwera became the President.

Unfazed, Nundwe went on to challenge those who were alleging that things are not well in the country indicating that it was all lies.

“Some are saying that the army and the Police are not paid in time, that is a lie,” said Nundwe before rhetorically asking the Police chief who was also in attendance to corroborate his story. The Police chief corroborated that they are all being paid on time and they are happy.

Nundwe’s remarks were coming against a backdrop of remarks by organiser of anti-government protests, Bon Kalindo, who in Zomba this week said that he was also protesting for Malawians working in security who were not being paid on time nor were they paid enough.

It was his shocking take on the protestors that raised eyebrows especially considering that in 2019 Nundwe was hailed as the peoples’ general for protecting demonstrators in demonstrations that saw the fall of Peter Mutharika’s government in a court sanctioned fresh election.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports have indicated that Chakwera is considering replacing Nundwe, a thing which might have prompted his political rhetoric as a way of saving his post.