Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Vincent Nundwe has the military will highly vigilant protect the sovereignty of the Republic and its citizens according to the Constitution.
The Commander has made the comments amid on-going electoral disputes with President Peter Mutharika directive that MDF and Police should stop demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) scheduled to take place in the country’s airports and borders from 26-30 August 2019.
Nundwe, the 13th army commander, said the MDF will continue discharging its duties according to the supreme laws of the country – the Constitution.
“As a professional we have been told how to deal with the current situation. Primarily Malawi Defence Force role number one is protection of the sovereignty of Malawi and again protection of its citizens,” said Nundwe.
President Mutharika said during the commissioning of the MDF ships in Malindi, Mangochi, that the demonstrations by HRDC, supported by opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM are not about elections anymore but rather they are about usurping power from him.
He said HRDC, MCP and UTM are “waging war on the country and it’s treasonous.”
The President ordered the military and police I to protect the borders “with all the necessary force.”
But General Nundwe said: “I have always said as professional I have to apply what is in the Constitution and is to protect the citizens of Malawi.”
Nundwe was appointed commander of MDF and promotion from Lieutenant General to the rank of General on June 20 2019. He replaced General Griffin Spoon Phiri who was appointed national security adviser.
President Mutharika said the border disruption agenda is a plot to disable the national security at the border, allow enemies of the country enter the country unimpeded and to disrupt Malawi’s national interests at the borders.
He said MDF was established to:
▪ Protect Malawi from external forces;
▪ Maintain the Constitution order of Malawi; and
▪ Assist civil authorities in maintenance of law and order.
Mutharika has since called on the HRDC and its supporters to “deeply reflect” on their intention to cause mayhem at the borders.
“Border disturbance is an act of aggression against Malawi and its citizens,” said Mutharika.
However, HRDC’s Vie Chairperson, Gift Trapence said HRDC is non-political and is not influenced by any interests other than the best interests of Malawians.
“If Mutharika wants to declare state of emergency, he should follow due process. HRDC will not sit down and watch people’s rights being curtailed. We will seek legal redress to such decrees and impunity until Jane Ansah resigns. The president should know that,” Trapence said.
The MDF has been pivotal in shoring up efforts by Malawi Police Service (MPS) in maintaining law and order during a series of ongoing post-election demonstrations nationwide.