The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of President Peter Mutharika, which came to power after the May 20 2014 disputed elections, has secretly bought one million rounds of ammunition for its security organs from South Africa worthy roughly R5 million (MK200 million).
Malawi is currently facing no external or internal military threats, according to a country threat report by Defence web.
“Poverty, crime and HIV/AIDS are considered to be the country’s most serious threats to security,” it said.
South Africa’s National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCAC) recent report to the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa contains Malawi’s ammos purchase of R4,836,770 among other exports to more than 25 countries worldwide.
The report, which covers the period April1st to 30th June 2014, does not specify whether the ammos were for the ill-equipped Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police Service or the Malawi Prison Service.
The South Africa’s opposition, Democratic Alliance has since asked NCAC to “avoid transfers of conventional arms to governments that systematically violate or suppress human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
The 2013 Malawi Human Right Commission report states that although authorities maintained control over security force, however, they committed some human rights abuses.
MHRC noted that in some cases, the government took steps to prosecute officials who committed abuses, but impunity remained a problem.
“Police arbitrarily shot and killed suspects. Police occasionally called on the military for support in operating roadblocks and assistance in manhunts,” it said.
Mutharika in his inaugural address to Parliament in July this year, despite finger counting Malawi’s security challenges hinted the need to equip the country’s security institutions.
“Government will establish a National Security Council which will provide oversight on matters of national security. We will also allow the Malawi Police Service and the Malawi Defence Force execute their mandates without political interference,” he said.
Mutharika said his government will enhance the capacity and professional competences of its security institutions to enable them respond adequately to the security needs of the country.
“Sometimes they are incapacitated to perform their duties effectively and efficiently due to resource constraints,” he noted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :