PP ‘Intellectuals’ hail appointment of new Police chief

The People’s Party (PP) Orange Intellectuals says it is “celebrating” the appointment of a new vibrant Inspector General of Malawi Police Service, Lot Dzonzi and the sacking of Peter Mukhito.

Orange Intellectuals iS the PP’s youth wing that comprises students from the University of Malawi and other institutions of higher learning. PP was founded by Malawi’s new President, Joyce Banda a couple of months ago after she was unceremoniously expelled from the former governing Democratic Progressive party (DPP) of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s first and Africa’s second female Head of State on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at the New Parliament buildings in the Capital City, Lilongwe. This followed the death of Mutharika on Thursday after he suffered from a cardiac arrest.

Mukhito: First casualty

Finest, nope

Banda’s first major undertaking was to fire Mukhito.

“This could not have come at a better time. Honestly, it was hell under the former IG who was ironically dubbed ‘finest ever’ by the late President. Those were the days no Malawian would wish to experience again,” Edgar Chipalanjira, the Orange Intellectuals National Coordinator, told Nyasa Times at the President’s Residence at Area 12 in the capital.

Chipalanjira, who is a student at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi explained that the Police in a democratic Malawi should be a “service and not a force”.

He said Mukhito reminds the Orange Intellectuals of the eight months long academic impasse over academic freedom. He said the former IG also reminds them of Robert Chasowa, a student activist who was mysteriously killed at the Polytechnic campus in September, 2011.

“Why should I be reminded of the 20 martyrs that we lost in July last year? Don’t remind me of victimization of HE Mama JB (the President) having reduced her security detail from 30 officers to just 8,” said Chipalanjira.

He bemoaned  also that President Banda was made to walk for a kilometre to see Atupele Muluzi at Maula Prison during his recent arrest.

“ It was when Mukhito presided over the Malawi Police Service that some people staged a plot that aimed at killing Mama JB at Kanengo on a convoy,” said the student activist from Chanco.

Big Picture

On the appointment of Dzonzi,  Chipalanjira said Malawians should not ignore “the bigger picture”, which is that Dzonzi’s appointment did not take a nepotistic form as was the case during the Mutharika administration.

“He’s from the Central Region. I am certain the President will proceed on the path of appointing public officers based on merit and not where they come from,” he said.

The Public Appointments Committee of Parliament will have to confirm Dzonzi as the IG.

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