Malawi Police blame its ‘unprofessional conduct’ on political interference

Malawi police officers say are mostly perceived as failures in their duties by the members of the general public because of political interference.

Speaking during round-table discussion on Peaceful Elections meeting organized by National Initiative for Civic Education and Norther region police officers in  Karonga district, Northern region commissioner of police Paul Kanyama said the police has been labelled as  being biased in dealing with cases relating to elections due to some politicians who take police as their personal security guards.

“It is very pathetic that until now Malawi is practicing uncivilized politics because some of political gurus in various political parties interfere with polices’ operations.

“ To make things worse, some of politicians who are given close protection officers use them to distribute party resources. This forces people to conclude that the whole Malawi police service belong to that party,” said Kanyama.

Kanyama with the group and Chief Kyungu after the meeting
Kanyama with the group and Chief Kyungu after the meeting

He therefore urged politicians to leave the police alone “we know our work best because if you continue to interfere with our duties you will end up paralyzing the community and violence cannot end as people will have wrong picture about police.”

Responding to the complaint by politicians present in the meeting said that most of times police do not go when given the information that violence is taken place somewhere but Kanyama said that has been the case because of limited resources and shortage of police officers.

“We are going through challenges. For example right now apart from having inadequate resources in our stations we are also understaffed.  Although we have police electoral officers that are supposed to go in the villages and attend to  political rallies they will still be in the office because we have no resources for them to work properly,” said Kanyama.

He then pleaded with the politicians to be tolerant and let the police do its duty without any interference to avoid violence.

Paramount Chief Kyungu warned that he will personally disqualify any aspiring member of parliament if found perpetrating  violence in the district.

“My humble request to all political parties is that you must respect the electoral laws and Code of conduct to have free elections and if you inspiring MP’s found to be causing violence you be disqualified by me because I don’t need uncivilized politics in Karonga,” said Kyungu.

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