‘Shoot-to-kill’ policy not enough to fight crime in Malawi -Lawmakers

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security, Enock Chihana has said fighting crime is more than just killing suspects but it involves giving people opportunities to earn an honest living as opposed to turning to crime.

Chihana: Wemust be extremely careful before we hand the police arbitrary powers over life and death.

Chihana: We must be extremely careful before we hand the police arbitrary powers over life and death.

Chihana, who is also Aford’s only MP, has the backing of Rumphi East MP Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party) in the argument that there are smarter ways of dealing with crime than simply shooting guns.

Kalua says government should make sure police officers are given good remuneration packages and also risk allowances.

He calls for government to invest more in investigations and gathering evidence, not destroying evidence by blowing it to bits.

Chihana said the Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Internal Security observed that the spate of criminal acts are emanating from several factors which the shoot-to kill policy alone cannot address.

“The recruitment process for police officers, for instance, is so lacking that the service has even recruited thieves and thugs,” said Chihana.

“We have noticed that when recruiting these officers, there is no background check and to make things worse the training period is too short as it ranges from three to six months. You cannot churn out a fully baked police officer in such a short period. Imagine somebody today is a civilian but by December they are in a police uniform. It is very pathetic and self-destructive; how can one grasp all the courses a police recruit has to undergo such as psychology, discipline and many others that relate to their type of job within such a short time?

“We have even discovered that despite it being short, the recruitment process is highly nepotistic such that a senior officer can just pick up a drunkard who is loafing at his village and enrol him at the police training school. A police job is a calling and one should not be a police officer simply because there is nothing he could do, but one has to have the intention and will to join the service,” says Chihana.

He also notes that I cases of corruption in Police are “embarrassingly high.”

Chihana says the officers are “demotivated “due to such factors as poor remuneration and housing.

“There are only 3 000 houses against 15 000 officers and this leaves them demotivated. The other factor is lack of discipline and it is no secret that a large percentage of the country’s police officers are highly undisciplined,” says Chihana.

Of late there have been cases of police officers moonlighting as armed robbers, which the lawmakers suggest that a “shoot-to-kill” policy might kill more cops than robbers.

The cops are not white hats helping fight crime; they have a long history of renting out guns to criminals and facilitating their release whenever they are arrested.

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Peace Lover

Let us all be involved. Once a thieft is coaught, he shud know that it is his last day. thee thief shud be afraid of police and the people as well.
Akapezeka, amathamangir
a ku police. In this way Umbava sungathe. Azingophedwa basi.

Mofolo makolo

Thats true

The different views here are very interesting. One point mentioned here that money is not the solution true and agree with the point. I wonder you Chihana and other pollutants ( not politicians), you talk of more salaries for Policemen and yet when u go into Parliament the first thing you want addressed are your packages, you have never said anything about the Police. Okay, you get good packages and yet you politicians are the worst performers as far as i am concerned. Do you know the crime rate in South Africa, what about the economy of that country?? There… Read more »
Mr Chihana, In other countries not any Jim and Jack police officer is provided with a house. They rent as any other person in locations and you will never see them going home yaviyavi in police uniform for fear of being attacked and not to be known as police officers in their communities . Invest alot in plain clothed cops and unmarked police cars. Have few marked patrol cars as back up for unmarked cars but this system works better if you have disciplined police team. Training should not be a one off. Let cops access training courses regularly. Money… Read more »
maganizo anga

akalumala it will remind them and others of the fruitage of crime.

Baba wa boy

Why is it that in Malawi, the solution to any problem, is throwing money at it?

Do you really believe that giving more money to a bent copper will straighten them?

What sort of political leaders do we have in this country? We all know this country is strapped for cash, and we have MPs advocating throwing money at crooks.


Chihana u were in government for two years why u didn’t tell your mother to increase the training for police officers and remember only 0.2 % of police officers voted for her. ( abale awo okha) Don’t just vomit for the sake of u r in opposition. Afford is dead because of your greedy. Galu iwe ethi


In terms of discipline G4S could be better than our MPS. Then there are cases of sweeping police criminal activities under carpets when they occur. Then they are cases of police being used as instruments for suppressing descending views. All these boil down to the fact that our politicians are yet to become servants of people than masters as is the case now.

The real Ujeni

In our country, the drawback is that, failures get recruited as Police personnel, we need to change that . You fail standard 8 you end up being a policeman or policewoman. Another critical issue is police gear, you don’t fight crime with today with a long old rifle, wearing a flared trousers, with no bullet proof vest, and other military gear. Sometimes our police chase armed robbers, with only one person with an old rifle, no hearing earpiece, helicopter for support etc.


More blood she’d and tears

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