PP government to counter armed robberies -Phoya

The People’s Party (PP) run government has drawn up vigorous measurer to counter the increasing spate of armed robbery and other crimes in the country, Leader of the House, Henry Phoya, told Parliament.

Phoya said on Thursday Minister of Home Affairs will issue a statement “to describe the measures that government is putting in place to counter this worrying trend in the country. “

His explanation followed a question to the Ministry of Home Affairs from Nsanje Central MP Francis Kasaila (DPP) who wanted to know what policy has been introduced in the Ministry in view of the rise in the number of armed robberies.

Phoya: PP government to combat crime

“Just last week in Blantyre alone three armed robberies were reported and indeed we were informed that robbers are moving from door to door terrorizing our people,” Kasaila said.

Phoya, answering on behalf of Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa who was not in the House, said “the administration of Mrs. Joyce Banda takes issues of a crime control extremely seriously.”

He added: “I also wish to state here that the fact that the Joyce Banda administration has prophesied its commitment to the upholding of the rule of law and to the human treatment over criminal suspects does not mean that the government will treat issues of crime with kid gloves.”

Said Phoya: “The government is going to be very serious in handling issues of breakdown of law and order or indeed issues of the perpetration of criminal offences in this country. In this regard, the government is seriously looking into the issue of the proliferation of armed robberies which is being noticed in our urban centres. “

Parliament also learnt that police officers in some parts of the country are misinterpreting the recent lifting of the ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by deliberately ignoring calls to deal with criminals.

In a supplementary question to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mzimba West MP Billy Kaunda said most officers do not take heed of calls from communities to rush to crime scenes.

Phoya said government is aware of the practice “and it is the view of the government that the practice is not so wide spread within the police service.”

“It is only a few unprofessional officers who are reacting in this manner,” he said.

Phoya warned that disciplinary action will be taken against officers found deliberately ignoring crime in the name of avoiding to shoot the suspects

“ The Inspector General of Police is taking the necessary measures to re-instill the spirit of professionalism within the Malawi Police Service.

“We feel that any professional police officer will not honestly misinterpret the new guidelines in the police service to mean that police officers should indeed ignore crimes when they are being committed on the ground that they are complying with his new directive.”

President Banda’s administration two weeks ago lifted the ‘shoot-to-kill’ directive issued by her predecessor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika last year.

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