When Crime controllers become Perpetrators: Malawi situation

Cops behind gun crime

Cops behind gun crime


It is around 12 midnight. Work has been exhausting and so you’re tired.  And, you decide: “I want to have a peaceful sleep tonight.” So you sleep like a baby…feeling all good and secure. But hey, don’t sleep that babyishly; it’s a mistake, a very grave mistake.

Why a mistake? Perhaps you’ve not been following events. There are verified stories going around that the people we entrusted with controlling crimes—the police—are themselves perpetrators of crime.

The glaring statistics in The Nation of 10th April, 2015 that, on average, two police officers in Malawi are involved in organized crime is both a big minus and a ghastly dent on the Malawi Police Services. To us Malawians, these statistics are a great concern so much so that every passing second, as day gives way to night, anxiety creeps in our minds as we are not sure of the safety and security of our valuable property or our dear life.


Certainly, the police officers’ involvement in organized crime is, as pointed out elsewhere here, of great concern. That be case, however, it is important to understand the police officers’ drive towards such uncalled for behavior. Is it the case that the recruitment process is flawed? Or it is the case that there is a genuine need for mindset change. The answer to both questions are both “yes’ and “no”.

“Yes” in the sense that there are cases where there have been allegations that the recruitment process is almost entirely guided by “who-knows-who” criterion resulting in picking underserving individuals for the noble job. This could be an explanation why we have unprofessional police officers who usually incapable of making quick and positive context-specific decisions for they have no academic qualifications—a Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) to be precise—necessary for such capability. There is also the possibility, a real one for that matter, that the recruitment may not be a cause for the police officers’ involvement in crime because the number of bad apples in the MPS is just outrageously large for a public institution.

It might also be that there is need to change the mindset of police officers towards their job as rightly observed by some commentators. Yet still, police officers’ perceived mindset problem does not seem to give the whole picture.

What then is the real cause? Most undoubtedly, the real cause is under-appreciation. Without mincing words, the Malawi police officers are under-appreciated left, right, and center. The uncomfortable truth is that our crime controllers get peanuts as salary, live in small and sub-standard houses (and they usually make sorry extensions), and get looked down upon by the public.

And way forward?

Interestingly, recruitment and mindset might be, and of course are, some of the causes of police officers’ involvement in the perpetration of organized crime. It therefore rightly follows that paying serious attention to these elements is not only just proper but also a must-do. Though, truth be spelt out here, the deliberate initiation of measures intended to improve the welfare of police officers is the way forward out of this security disaster, if not the only way.

Malawi needs police officers who get paid a modest salary; it needs police officers whose houses are decent enough for a police officer; Malawi needs police officers who get appreciation for the noble roles they play in society. Police officers too are people with wants, and, however dignified or professional they may be, they will always make efforts to get what they want, legally or otherwise. Simple logic should tell anyone that rules of survival hates a man that stays hungry among plenty. So why not develop and implement measures that aim at helping our dear police officers get their wants in life in a way that accords with the law?

The suggestions made by some quarters of the society that the solution to police officers’ involvement in organized crime lies in instilling a sense of service in them to work professionally under the poor conditions they are in is wholly precarious at best and nauseatingly cosmetic at worst. Like already observed above, the improvement of the police officers’ welfare is the surefire way out.

It is a common understanding among any people that the deterioration of security is not only worrisome but also a cause for concern for insecurity is the enemy of progress. It thus becomes unbearably worrisome if the perpetrators of the insecurity are the same people we put our trust on for security. That’s why this security disaster needs an urgent solution that more now than now.

Up until such time a solution is found to address the police-perpetrated insecurity Malawians have two options; go to prison or trust no one no matter their nobility. For Tony Robbins says: “If you want security, go to prison.” And for the second option, Willa Cather opines: “No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.” Malawians, choose your option now.

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38 thoughts on “When Crime controllers become Perpetrators: Malawi situation”

  1. pwalapwata says:

    Dislocation of economics compromises integrity and patriotism. Oooh my foot!

  2. THE MUST READ COMMENT. wapolice akulandila 45000, akukhala ku rent ku area 23,24 chifukwa mu line mulibe nyumba. Daily akulipila transport, nyumba akulipila 15000. Azichotsapo ya lunch, achibale akufuna chithandizo, ana akufuna school fees. Bolaso amene akukhala tinyumba ta police tonyasa chifukwa nditaulele komaso tili pafupi ndi police ndiye amakadya kunyumba. Wapolice opanga rent mtawuni komwe angakhale ndi ku Ghetto basi coz ndikomwe manyumba amatchipa. Ku ghetto komweko ndikomwe kumakhalaso ma Gamba ambiri ndiye wapolice angagwile ntchito professionally?

    Salary ukuthela rent, kulpila ma bills, transport lunch ku ntchito basi ya chakudya pa nyumba, fees, kuthandiza ma dependants kusowa, ukukhala ku Ghetto magamba akuba akukupatsako dolla ndiye uyikane?

    Corruption singathe among police officers if they continue to live under such pathetic conditions. Wa police okhala ku rent amaopa kugwila ntchito professionaly kuopa kupangidwa chiwembu ndima criminals they feels secured kukhala pa gulu in police houses. Gvt ought to improve their working conditions they even do not have risk allowances, they are being butchered by criminals, mind you others are dedicated, but if gvt will not do anything then it is supporting the status quo interms of the current security situation.

  3. Mubarak says:

    Thats what hapens when u dont motivate ur workers by giving them the required insentives. For example, a police man is sent to Zalewa roadblock without food and then a lory full of chamba passes by offering 100pn the officer what can he do when the service has not provided ration at the camp? Timaziputa tokha zinthuzi aboma. Wapolisi akukhala kulend ndimarobbers do think angawagwire???? akhala neba otani pamalopo poti amati kumakhala bwino ndi anthu oyandikana nawo nyumba.

  4. Olobodoka says:


  5. Alex James says:

    Kukhumbana basi.

  6. Chambang'ondo says:

    These are just few out of many reasons. Another one is these improper promotions. What will these uneducated bosses contribute? We have not seen much change thou. Angofuna alemele mwachangu. Tawonani ku traffic, CID

  7. Pimbiton says:

    God bless the one who wrote this article. Seems lyk apolisi alibe owalankhulira. So much risk pantchito yawo yet with no motivation. Look into this, and the sooner the better.

  8. rob l m says:

    CommentYes, good pay is a requirements at any workplace.But in Malawi pay go with qualufication; Diploma, Degree, Professional certificate of 2yrs training not 6 mths. So lets spend to train our security people to have required stds. GOD GUIDE ALL.

  9. GUANTANAMO says:

    The reason is not salary. If it were salary then all junior police employees would be thieves. SOLUTION: effect departmental transfers for all policemen/women every two years. Someone has already said that some police departments are at an advantage

  10. tweeeebabo says:

    shoot to has been enforced! yeeeeeeeh! But who should shoot the police perpetrators? are you going to allow malawi citizens to own guns and shoot -to- kill the police that are stealing from them? who should shoot-to-kill who?Because the police that have guns are the ones that supposed to be shot

  11. Majoti says:


  12. Majoti says:

    tilande boma, akutionerera agalu amenewa. zimayamba chonchi, a few pple kumanjoya pomwe the majority get peanuts komanso tochepa tomweto nkumachedwetsanso. muona, pitilizani zimenezi!!

  13. chipezayan wa Kasia says:

    Let us Access the MPS from the time of independence up to this day.Recruitment before multiparty came was normal. recruited personnel were thoroughly vetted but to day I wonder if any verification of the person being recruited is done ,this is one cause of why we have so many criminals in the MPS.WHY MOST OFFICERS DO NOT WORK AS ESPECTED more pol off are promoted because the serve the then IG and it is likely hat those who work hard are not considered because they do not have any one to talk for them .Kindly make a research into the MPS you will be surprised that those who are given promotions are truly not even fit to deserve just coz it is mwana wa uje.To day we have so many useless officers who are not there to serve the nation but to serve individuals. If the mind set of the commanding officers are changed to build the TRUE KB police like it will see the devotion.TO DAY POLICE ARE WORKING ON HIRE BETTER THAN ON OFFICIAL<LOOK INTO THAT too

  14. nyaka1 says:

    Wrong perception on police officers, they. Were not. Born to die poor cause they police officers, think of it from onwards dat ur. Part of poolice remember. Its Malawi police Service and not Force .do you know that they r well educated n they once worked somewhere

  15. Chiye Nang'omba says:

    who is to blame! President ndi chimbava chotheratu,ndunaso,mafumuso and mukulembanaso ntchito pa chibale. Ife tangoti pheee tikuoneni

  16. wakukaya says:

    Akaba apolice nkhani koma atolankhani akaba nkhani palibe shaaaa koma yaaaa but this has to stop give them good perks and make sure that the welfare of the police officers is also looked into osamangosangalala akamakupatsani chitetetezo basi hw can u slip in Nyambadwe and ur security officer is in Ntopwa looking for a house? How can u get Millions as ur allowances When the people u say should protect the nation has peanuts in their pockets agalu anu akulandila ma allowance which is compared to a salary for a senior police officer think of them

  17. Ine says:

    Watch out.policeComment

  18. kassim Daudi says:

    Kodi samaona back ground yamunthu polembapo? Azitifunsa ife akwawo ka munthu wolembedwayo! Enawa mbiri zawo nzoyipa kuyambira ali ang’ono ang’ono kumamidziku.

  19. Tili kwa eni says:

    Akulu mwalemba nkhaniyi mwanama kwambili. Nkhani si salare kuti ikuchepa ayi sichoncho. Mukafufuza bwinobwino mupeza kuti apolisiwa amawalirana okhaokha. Apolisi a traffic akulemera kwambili kuposa wapolisi aliyense olo mabwana amene chifukwa cha katangale ndi ziphuphu za pansewu. Pamene anzawowa akungoyendera kasalale basi. Ndiye inu mumati iwo atani? Azifera fungo anzawo akukatamuka mupolisi mmomo? Mupite mmanyumba mwa atraffic mukawonemo ngati akufika pomagura magalimoto kumanga zinyumba zikuluzikulu anzawo akungokanda ndiye mumati nawo asayisove olo muli inu mungatani.atraffic akudya pamene amangilira anthu sakunena kathu aku mapasipoti ku road traffic onsewo akukatamuka koma boma likungoyang’ana. Muthetse katangare mma department onse a m`boma mukatelo muitha.

  20. OMEGA BEMA says:

    A good sign that pple are not financially stable in civil service and now are tired

  21. Kenkkk says:

    Yes the welfare of the police should be improved just like any other jobs such as teachers, clerks, etc and that their recruitments should be professional meeting all the relevant required qualifications and without nepotism.

    But the real cause of bad policemen come from the fact that the whole govt and nation since Kamuzu left have become extensively corrupt affecting every fabric of malawi society. The police therefore like all others in govt or society can’t be spared from these corrupt practices. The corruption within the police is not only limited to the poorly housed juniors but it starts from the top excellently housed officers.

    The breakdown of the four corner stones of malawi as we used to say: unity, loyalty, obedience and discipline. We still want democracy and it can succeed without breaking down the pillars that held our society far much better.

    A piecemeal solution will not help because the problems go far beyond the police alone, it is the whole govt problem and the whole malawi society problem where corruption and self-enrichment by whatever means necessary have become like our God which we vehemently follow.

  22. MG 1
    More Gold 1
    More Guts 1
    More Ganja 1
    Money Guru 1

  23. If the first citizen of the country is a thief what else would you expect from a mere police officer they are lesser thieves taking after their big boss MG 1 (Malawian Gangster Number One )

  24. soja man says:

    A police traffic akugula ma minibus, kumanga manyumba chifukwa chakuba and nothing z being done. Enawa mumati atani? Akungotsatila the system, no hope

  25. tttt says:

    these people are stealing from us. The government should do something and decisively.

  26. Tiko says:

    You are wrong to justify that police officer steal because their perks are too little. I feel among more justifiable reasons some of them include the change of discipline in the police since the coming of new era of democracy, the general kukatamuka notion at all levels including church leaders, recruitment that looks at relatives of police officers. Its a big wave sweeping across Malawi which will need leader who will make bold decisions to overturn the whole situation. Its complex.

  27. Kani says:

    Zasolobana zavuta pa Malawi oyenera kuyendetsa dziko ku ma office aboma Capital Hill Mbava, Ku nyumba ya chifumu mbava, oyenera ku teteza anthu, apolice mbava kumidzi mbava n town mbava, anthu atani tsopano?

    1. The people should die.

  28. Maria says:

    CommentPlease govt take good care of the people..if l may ask,when will the police houses which were blown off by storm in january be renovated at Mtandire??

  29. Maria says:

    CommentPlease govt take good care of the people..if l may ask,when will the police houses which were blown off by storm in january be renovated??

  30. chejaali says:

    Wapolice alandile 45pin
    ayitani nkhani sikuba basi

    1. pwt says:

      pple are receiving 30grand nkumalipira nyumba plus kudya, ndikumakhala zakazaka osaba ndiye 45g mukuti yachepa den yaulere. dziko ndilatonse tigwire job and get money osati kubera amnzathu ai, worse enough wina akateteza katundu wake you take off life, kukhala kwanji?

  31. willy nyoni says:

    Kuba ndi mtima wa munthu musavutike alipo ena ndalama sinkhani koma ndi mbava

  32. Evidence says:

    I know one cop who was employed yet he was an ex convict of armed robbery yet there is another who stays in chilobwe but works in Bt but is always collecting money from people and tells them that he searches for lost phones because he claims he has connections with cell providers to obtain call logs without a search warrant.

  33. Laston Millis says:

    Who stole money at capital hill? police? arent those alleged thieves educated and well paid? who is being accused of stealing 1.7 bn and 92bn? is it uneducated and underpaid police officers?

  34. George Lihoma. says:

    Recruitment ethics should change. Enawa akamalembedwa anzawo amadabwa kuti awa siaja amakhalira kuba mapensulo tiri ku pulaimare aja awa? Old habits die hard. Hahahahahaha!

  35. Kensonn Kabisa says:

    Comment Malembedwe Awo Antchito Saprofessional

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