MP urges State spies to monitor foreigners ‘slowly taking over Malawi’ and doing unacceptable things like drug peddling
Nkhotakota South East legislator Everson Makowa Mwale (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has urged law enforcers like Malawi police detectives and State spies to monitor foreigners and put most of them on surveillance as some of them are slowly taking over the country and doing unacceptable things such as drug and human trafficking.
Makowa said in Parliament on Wednesday while contributing to a report of the National Intelligence Service Bill, which seeks to amend some provision in the Bill—gazetted on May 26 2017.
“Our security organisations invest their time in monitoring us, especially us parliamentarians, leaving foreigners who are doing undesirable things like human trafficking and drug trafficking,” said Mwale.
The lawmaker further warned that Malawians will one day wake up being ruled by foreigners because of the way they have infiltrated the country.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator and the current chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee Maxwell Thyolera presented the report on the Bill which support the establishment of what is to be called the National Intelligence Service (NIS)—currently called the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB)—law enforcement authority.
Lawmakers debating the Billl fear that certain clauses that might easily turn the spy agency into abuse of covert power condemning its sweeping powers they warn could be used to crack down on political opponents and stifle civil liberties.
The Bill seeks to outline duties, functions and powers of NIS, in addition to regulating its administration.
NIB was established in 2001 during former President Bakili Muluzi’s era and over the years, it has come under attack for meddling in politics primarily targeting opposition politicians.
During one-party rule of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), there was the Special Branch which also operated without an Act of Parliament, but conducted its functions under the Malawi Police.
According to the proposed Bill, the NIS director general will have powers to apply from the magistrate court a warrant to enable the institution “perform any of its functions”.
The key functions and duties of NIS will, among others, include gathering, evaluating, correlating, interpreting, investigating, disseminating and storing information for detecting and identifying of threats to the security of the nation.
The warrant will give NIS powers to enter any place or obtain access to anything and search for or remove, examine or record in any manner the information, material, record or document, which human rights advocates say will be an infringement on individual lives’ privacy.
The law will also make NIS an independent State institution and shall report directly to the President who may delegate some or all of his powers under the Act to a Cabinet minister.
Further, it will give the President powers to appoint the director general and his or her deputy on terms and conditions as he or she may determine.
However, while the delegated minister shall annually submit a report on the activities of the service to the defence and security committee of Parliament, the same law empowers the minister or the NIS director general not to “produce before Parliament any document or other evidence” as certified by the director general.
Meanwhile, the debate to the Bill was suspended at committee stage to review clause five which bars anyone with a political background to be appointed director of the spy organisation.
Until recently, the bureau was headed by Nicholas Dausi (before his appointment as Information Minister), who is a senior ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but he was a former officer of the defunct Malawi Young Pioneers and served as bodyguard to the first president of Malawi, Dr. Kamuzu Banda.
The current chief spy if former policeman and also ex immigration chief Elvis Thodi.
The proposed law seeks to define powers, functions and duties, besides regulating the administration and control of the bureau.
The spy organisation also help with vetting investigations for persons who hold or may hold posts that require higher levels of scrutiny; for example those whose appointment is subject to formal security clearance or those who may have access to sensitive or classified.
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The Leader of Nigerian Community has lamented the lack of action from the government, in dealing with perforation of illicit drug trade by foreigners. Its really sad to read that even the foreigners themselves are worried about Malawi’s inaction against crime that affects an entire generation (the youths). In fact it shows that these foreigners have already taken over. The Leader of Nigerian community in Malawi is even recommending tougher laws against illicit drug dealers and is suggesting putting up signs at the airports depicting long jail sentences if caught. Basically foreigners are telling what our legislators/parliamentarians what to do… Read more »
So you gave the president powers to appoint the head of such an institution yet you have been crying with the status quo at ACB?zanu izo muzayambenso kulira APA.
I am sure that foreigners are not doing drug or human trafficking here, WITHOUT the help of local Malawian people. First check your local people who are facilitiating and helping this, then go after foreigners.
the issue of land is very critical..As a country, it seems we are not learning from Thyolo-Mulanje, Zimbabwe.. South Africa. People are a calling Wandale, Malemia, & Mugabe all sorts of Bad names for their good cause of mending previous errors.. Lets us spare our future generation from being/to be called rebellious/rebels when they will be demanding their land back. The time to do that is now. but it seems no one cares.. no one thinks for the future. The country is moving on its own.. with no one to control it.. It is the duty of ruling govt to… Read more »
Komanso anthu amanewa akutha malo athu zedi. kodi ana athu adzakhala kuti. Add the issue of land to the drug issue please
The intelligence and surveillance structures created under Kamuzu Banda served a specific purpose and that was to deal with those that were deemed to be enemies of MCP or Ngwazi. The structures was embedded in the psyche of every politician that it ended up paralysing many of those who we thought were smarts. In modern and democratic societies, national intelligence and surveillance structures should be structured for a different objective ie to protect the state from internal and external threats. Unfortunately for these old politicians, they’re stuck with the Kamuzu-Banda mentality hence the use of intelligence for political point scoring… Read more »
VERY sensible contribution. The NIS should spy on these foreigners peddling drugs but also Asians buying land at a very cheap price from poor people.
It is true you are saying for example foreigners are buying more land in the rural areas and urban displacing malawians. What will happen to our children in 20 years coming living without land. Govenment wake up
Are there spies in Malawi? I only see DPP cadets at work. If there were spies, the president would not have been humiliated in Parliament by the cadets as the spies could have known and countered the DPP cadets before they could act
Point on. Does the country have spies? May be spying for opposition MPs and those who are against the current government. This organ of the government need to be independent if the country is to progress ins dealing with illicit businesses. To make matter worse these so called spies are on drug dealers pay roll and provide tips to these drug lords. This country is a shame ndithu