Director of State Residences Peter Mukhito has said there is nothing wrong that Lilongwe house of Ben Phiri the special assistant to President Peter Mutharika is being accorded State House Security.
Phiri’s house in Area 12 has two guards with state Residences badges who are manning the gates, according to published reports.
Other presidential aides are not getting the State House guards and Nation on Sunday newspaper quoted former presidential assistants Macdonald Sembereka and Wakuda Kamanaga who states thet aides do not receive State House security.
The special aide to President Mutharika has been subject to attacks by lawyer and political activist Z Allan Ntata who is writing a series of media articles to demonise him as a strongman and power behind the Head of State.
Phiri has said the media should be wary of promoting personal vendettas of other people and referred the matter to State House chief of staff to explain about his security detail entitlement.
Mukhito said the presence of the presidential guard at Phiri’s house was normal.
“To be fair, I am failing to understand why anyone would make a fuss about the kind of security detail he is having. I know his security officer is an ordinary police officer, but I am not sure about those who guard the house,” Mukhitio said in comments published in the Nation on Sunday newspaper.
“Anyway, there is no difference really apart from the uniforms they wear and the close body security training they receive once in State House,” said Mukhito, a former police chief.
The paper quoted one time Inspector General of Police and State house guard commander Joseph Aironi who said provision of presidential security to State house aides is the discretion of the guard commander in
agreement with the chief of staff.
“The two can agree to deploy State house security to presidential aides depending on the importance of the aide. They don’t have to consult the police”, said Aironi.
Law expert and executive director of Justice Link Justin Dzonzi argued that the problem is that there no known legal frame work guiding the appointment of presidential aides.
“If we assume that the appointment of presidential aides is regulated by law, then the question of what Ben Phiri gets would be a result of negotiations between him and the employer, “he said.
Apart from being special aide to President Mutharika, Phiri is also executive member of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as field marshal director.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :