Malawi Police recruitment system is at fault and contributing to security lapses, leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera and the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security, Enock Chihana have observed.
Chakwera, who is also president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), has faulted the unprofessional recruitment of police officers whom he said most of them are party zealots who do not take the law seriously.
“I have stated over and over again on what they can do to change things for the better but they have a prerogative to disregard what I have been saying.
“In recruitment you do not take party zealots and say these should be police men and women, its not even just now, these things that we are seeing now is as result of systematic way of not being professional in what the recruitment has been done,” said Chakwera during the interview with Times TV.
Malawians are witnessing continued spate of robbery and killings.
Chakwera also spoke against the police and citizens taking the law into own hands and that law enforcers should not be own jury and judges over security and court matters.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security, Enock Chihana, also criticised the recruitment of cops.
Chihana said the recruitment process for police officers is “so lacking that the service has even recruited thieves and thugs.”
He said: “We have noticed that when recruiting these officers, there is no background check and to make things worse the training period is too short as it ranges from three to six months. You cannot churn out a fully baked police officer in such a short period.
“ Imagine somebody today is a civilian but by December they are in a police uniform. It is very pathetic and self-destructive; how can one grasp all the courses a police recruit has to undergo such as psychology, discipline and many others that relate to their type of job within such a short time?
“We have even discovered that despite it being short, the recruitment process is highly nepotistic such that a senior officer can just pick up a drunkard who is loafing at his village and enrol him at the police training school.”
Chihana said a police job is a calling and “one should not be a police officer simply because there is nothing he could do, but one has to have the intention and will to join the service.”