Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security, Enock Chihana has said fighting crime is more than just killing suspects but it involves giving people opportunities to earn an honest living as opposed to turning to crime.
Chihana, who is also Aford’s only MP, has the backing of Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party) in the argument that there are smarter ways of dealing with crime than simply shooting guns.
Kalua says government should make sure police officers are given good remuneration packages and also risk allowances.
He calls for government to invest more in investigations and gathering evidence, not destroying evidence by blowing it to bits.
Chihana said the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security observed that the spate of criminal acts are emanating from several factors which the shoot-to kill policy alone cannot address.
“The recruitment process for police officers, for instance, is so lacking that the service has even recruited thieves and thugs,” said Chihana.
“We have noticed that when recruiting these officers, there is no background check and to make things worse the training period is too short as it ranges from three to six months. You cannot churn out a fully baked police officer in such a short period. Imagine somebody today is a civilian but by December they are in a police uniform. It is very pathetic and self-destructive; how can one grasp all the courses a police recruit has to undergo such as psychology, discipline and many others that relate to their type of job within such a short time?
“We have even discovered that despite it being short, the recruitment process is highly nepotistic such that a senior officer can just pick up a drunkard who is loafing at his village and enrol him at the police training school. A police job is a calling and one should not be a police officer simply because there is nothing he could do, but one has to have the intention and will to join the service,” says Chihana.
He also notes that I cases of corruption in Police are “embarrassingly high.”
Chihana says the officers are “demotivated “due to such factors as poor remuneration and housing.
“There are only 3 000 houses against 15 000 officers and this leaves them demotivated. The other factor is lack of discipline and it is no secret that a large percentage of the country’s police officers are highly undisciplined,” says Chihana.
Of late there have been cases of police officers moonlighting as armed robbers, which the lawmakers suggest that a “shoot-to-kill” policy might kill more cops than robbers.
The cops are not white hats helping fight crime; they have a long history of renting out guns to criminals and facilitating their release whenever they are arrested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :