JB says Malawi needs security to develop: Crime rate ‘decreasing’

Malawi President Joyce Banda says security is an essential prerequisite for any country to develop, saying its existence shouldn’t be underrated worldwide.

Pres Banda made the remarks Thursday when she opened a day-long Security Sector Symposium at Bingu International Conference in Lilongwe, organised for senior government officials, academics, members of the private sector, media, state and security personnel and the civil society.

“You will agree with me that security is always at the core of any development and without it no country can have meaningful development.

Commander of the Malawi Defence Force General Henry Odillo welcomes President Joyce Banda at the Security Sector Symposium

“This  symposium has been organised at an appropriated time considering that the whole world is increasingly coming together in an effort to mitigate  effects of insecurity which one way or another affect our nations regardless of how far the source is,” Banda emphasised.

She said internationally there is a general consensus that security is no longer the preserve of only those in uniform.

“It’s for this reason that at the national level, I have been underscoring the important role that chiefs can play in fighting crime.

“Threats that are brought by illegal immigration, terrorism, cybercrime, human rights abuse, or indeed poverty, disease and hunger, affect  every aspect of our society as they negatively impact on the  economy and the whole social fabric of our citizens.

“It’s therefore pleasing that this realization has brought us together to share this knowledge and experience to come up with meaningful interventions to deal with the threats that we face today,” Banda said.

The President said while Malawians felt that there was an increase in crime, overall numbers tell a different story.

“Latest figures I have from the Malawi Police Service show that recorded crime nationwide decreased by 18 percent from 40,202 criminal incidents between January and June 2011 to 32,883 over the same months in 2012,” Banda said.

“The volumes of crime of concern also reduced from 851 incidents in the first six months of 2011 to 773 during the same period in 2012.”

She said there was a spike in crime in the first half of 2012.

The symposium will try to understand threats to national and international security and analyse current approaches used in dealing with the threats.

Facilitators for the symposium are from the Republic of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and UK under the auspices of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.


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