Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has criticized the Malawi Police Service for alleged abandonment of its core duty and responsibility of protecting the lives and property of Malawians in preference to cashing in on poor citizens in the name of enforcing Covid-19 preventive measures.
CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa has observed that law enforcers lately directed all their energies and work force on the enforcement of the Covid-19 preventive measures, leaving many lives at the mercy of merciless murderers, who are going around door-to-door, terrorizing innocent Malawians.
Namiwa further observes in a statement issued on Saturday morning that since the introduction of the partial lockdown in Malawi, the country has witnessed escalating cases of gruesome murders, armed robberies and burglary across the country’s cities and towns.
“Gone are the days when the police would mount roadblocks and spot checks on some selected roads in search of various items, specifically weapons, stolen goods, illegal immigrants, etc. Nowadays, it is a common site to find the police stopping cars in search of people that are not wearing facemasks so that they can either whip them or threaten them with fines,” he says.
Namiwa has challenged the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Dr. George Kainja, to rise up to the occasion and stop these barbaric acts by the police officers before the situation gets out of hand and throws Malawi into a lawless state due to the already worsening relationship between the law enforcers and the citizens.
He has also cautioned the police not to be too excited with the enforcement of the Covid-19 measures at the expense of respecting people’s human rights, but rather they should always respect the country’s Constitution by taking the suspects to court where the appropriate punitive measures are given.
“MPS should always be mindful of their constitutional mandate; that of ensuring internal security, law and order within the tenets of a reformed police service, and not as a police force. It is for this reason that CDEDI is demanding that all the police officers that broke into shops and bars in the city of Lilongwe on the pretext of enforcing Covid-19 measures should be brought to book, including all the officers that were shamelessly caught on camera administered mob justice on some unarmed citizens!” he states.
On the protracted war between the government and Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) over Covid-19 risk allowances, Namiwa says the government has itself to blame for reckless splashing out cash in the name of cash transfer, arguing that this has created an impression that the government has enough money in its coffers.
He wonders why the government chose to disregard a recommendation from the Presidential Task force on the Covid-19 pandemic made in July 2020.
The taskforce classified teaching as one of the professions that are at risk.
“CDEDI has learnt with shock, the news that the Malawi government is giving out MK70, 000 each to some individuals in the country’s cities and towns, as a cash transfer mechanism to vulnerable households. The criteria of selecting such vulnerable households, however, has not been made public. CDEDI has been made to believe that such underhand tendencies of splashing out cash is an indication that government has enough money in its coffers for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, hence our demand to end the current standoff between the teachers and government by giving the teachers the risk allowances,” emphasizes Namiwa.
Meanwhile, CDEDI has challenged President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to come out publicly and inform Malawians on the criteria the government is using to identify the beneficiaries in the current social cash transfer, which is meant as a cushion measure for the Covid-19 pandemic, and declare publicly where the funds have been sourced from.
Namiwa warns that should the current standoff between the teachers and the government remain unresolved by Wednesday, March 10, 2021, CDEDI will be forced to lead Malawians of goodwill, whose children’s basic right to education is being violated, and all Malawians that are sympathizing with our children who go to public schools, to come out in their large numbers and join a nationwide solidarity march to add voices to the teachers’ demands for risk allowances so that our children should go back to class.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :