JB summons Malawi security chiefs to discuss Mphwiyo’s shooting

Malawi President Joyce Banda  on Monday morning summoned chiefs of the country’s security agencies to discuss the Friday shooting of budget director in the Ministry of Finance Paul Mphwiyo at his Area 43 residence in the Malawi capital Lilongwe.

Banda – heading to United States of America where he is expected to deliver the 15thAnnual Grosvenor Distinguished Lecture at Texas State University this Thursday – preached the need to tighten the country’s security during the meeting that comprised army commander General Henry Odillo, police inspector general Loti Dzonzi, officials from the National Intelligence Bureau and the Malawi Prisons chief.

Briefing journalists at the State after the meeting, vice president Khumbo Kachali expressed his discontentment with the shooting of 37 year old US trained economist Mphwiyo.

Pres. Banda with Malawi Defence Force Commander, General Henry Odillo

Pres. Banda with Malawi Defence Force Commander, General Henry Odillo

“Government is saddened,” Kachali said. “It will take drastic measures.”

He added: “Government will ensure that those in the civil service working against corruption are protected.”

Kachali said that the issue of security is also going to be extended to the entire Malawi citizenry.

Paul Mphwiyo was the victim of “a barbaric and targeted shooting” as he entered his home on Friday night, the office of President Joyce Banda said in a statement.

Mphwiyo’s shooting “was not just any other robbery but a planned and targeted attack aimed at silencing him and the government in the fight against high levels of corruption and fraud,” the statement said.

Mphwiyo was being treated in a South African hospital and his condition was critical but stable, it said.

Banda, Africa’s second female president after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has been trying to stem official corruption and wasteful spending since coming to power in April 2012 following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, the former president. She has since taken a pay cut and sold off a presidential jet that had been purchased by her predecessor as part of the new government’s austerity measures.

Official corruption and organized fraud had become “entrenched in the past years” in Malawi, the president’s statement said, adding that the anti-graft work Mphwiyo did “will in no way be deterred” by the attack.

Police chief and Army boss

Police chief and Army boss

Security operatives during the meeting

Security operatives during the meeting

President Band briefing secuity chiefs

President Band briefing secuity chiefs

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