President Joyce Banda wants government to consider introducing in the near future a ‘Reward Programme’ in the Malawi Police Service to officially recognise and reward officers involved in courageous and heroic acts in their line of duty.
“It is done in many countries; in the United States, officers who have served citizens and their nation diligently and courageously even when their life was in danger, are recognized and rewarded handsomely. This is normal because it serves as an incentive to motivate the officers,” said President Banda on Saturday.
She was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when she met a group of police officers who were involved in a “heroic recovery operation” of a Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Registration Number 7 SC 25, belonging to the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) stolen at City Centre in Lilongwe on July 3, 2013.
The operation took place in Dedza where the police suspect the robbers were intending to drive the vehicle into neighbouring Mozambique.
“It was about two weeks ago when I received a report of your courageous operation, where the robbers were armed to teeth and exchanged fierce gunfire with you. I invited you to thank you, personally, on behalf of all Malawians for I was really moved by your courage and heroism.
“I know that there are similar incidents happening elsewhere in the country and much as I would want to meet all our heroes, time is the major constraint,” said the Head of State.
The President also expressed her appreciation for the “commendable job” the police are doing to enforce security, law and order in Malawi “despite working under difficult circumstances, which include inadequate equipment”.
She recalled that when she just came into power in 2012, the many serious criminal activities taking place then made her suspect it was some form of ‘organized crime’ to “discredit my Government and our Police Service”.
“We shall never know whether indeed it was organized crime or not but one thing is clear and that is that the security situation in the country has tremendously improved ever since. I must commend the Inspector General of Police and all officers for trying your best. We don’t take this for granted,” said Banda.
Inspector General of Police, Lot Dzonzi expressed gratitude to the President for meeting the officers, saying “it is a very rare and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any police officer to interact with their Commander-in-Chief”.
According to Assistant Superintendent Gusto Yobe, Criminal Investigation Officer, Anti Motor Theft Unit at Police Headquarters in Lilongwe, the police ‘ambushed’ the vehicle at Dedza Pottery where they exchanged gunfire with the robbers.
“Your Excellency, we were fortunate that no one on our side was shot but we shot two of the four criminals who later died at Kamuzu Central Hospital due to heavy bleeding. The other two ran away into the nearby bushes,” said Yobe, who led the operation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :