Sunday, July 27, 2014


News that President Peter Mutharika has hired 30 private personal guards has come with mixed reactions mainly because it changes the long-time usual way of doing things.

I will not try to delve much into the issue as it deals with security at the highest level of our Statehood though I have a rotten bone to pick with Lot Dzonzi's men and women.

Our men uniform (law enforcers) must be asking themselves why for the past three years they seem to have lost touch with the country's highest office. 

Speculations aside, it cannot be disputed that Malawi Police Service (MPS) nearly brought this country to a sorry standstill starting from 2009 under the leadership of one, Peter Mukhito, now serving as State House Chief of Staff.

At a time when the nation needed a professional police force, we ended up having a group of men in uniform also serving interests of a political party.

No wonder when President Bingu Wa Mutharika passed on, power failed to shift to President Joyce Banda smoothly because those we trusted at the top in the MPS had jobs to protect and personal interests to massage.

That was the moment the Service started losing grip in as far as their efficiency at the most top level is concerned.

In the follow up of such a transitional stand-off, we saw men of integrity like former Army Commander, General Odillo, rising to the occasion by ordering the Military Police a.k.a the Red Berets to take charge of security details for President Joyce Banda.

Subsequently, the ever-tough Red Berets became a main fixture in the security detail.

Reports within the circles of power had it that with the Red Berets in the house, some policemen just developed a negative vibe thus leaking any piece of information they came across (even a greeting they mistook for a Presidential order)

For those who had information within Plot 1 during Dr Joyce Banda's rule will agree with me that if there was a contingent that leaked information out willy-nilly, then police officers rank among the 'nudiest' suspects.

One day, a malfunctioning helicopter on a helipad within State House had its picture sent viral within minutes of the anomaly such that the President's delay to a public function became news for those with small minds always itching for sensation.

Sometimes, private (or secret meetings) were broadcasted online even before the first prayer was exhausted. Also chief among the suspects were the many men in uniform (or suits) who were seconded to a place of privilege to serve the Head of State.

Now the coming in of President Peter Mutharika has even further pushed the MPS one step away from the core as the new leader has settled for his own private guards.

In the old days, a large contingent of the 30 would have been dominated by trained policemen but alas, times have changed.

Two Presidents in a row now have had personalized arrangements departing from the long-time tradition.

Though we can sympathize with the MPS here that it is not fully responsible for some of its delinquent chaps, still this conduct has left a lot to be desired. 

Interestingly, most of the leaked information was going (or being sold) to the opposition including the now ruling DPP. As such the party knows what the weakest link at Plot 1 was.

My plea to the Inspector General is that they should regain the confidence of the Presidency sooner than later. Failing which will reduce the credibility of our Police to kindergarten levels.

Bring Back Our Police, the cry goes.

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