In depature to tradiiton, deputy minister of defence Aggrey Mssi on Wednesday handed over a sword of command to the newly appointed army commander General Griffin Supuni Phiri at Kamuzu Barracks parade square in Lilongwe replacing geneal Ignacious Maulana.
Maulana who was unceremoniously removed from the position by President Peter Mutharika did not turn up for the inauguration.
Mutharika appointed Maulana and Supuni-Phiri to the ranks of commander and deputy commander respectively in June 2014, barely a month after he assumed the presidency after his victory in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.
The outgoing army chief did not give reasons for not turning up.
But despite his abscence deputy minister of defence Masi handed the sword of command to Supuni in a ceremony attended by soldiers.
Masi said President Mutharika has confidence in Supuni Phiri as the new military chief.
Maulana, like his predecessor Henry Odillo who remains on the government payroll until his retirement in 2019, is set to head the security section of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) until he attains the mandatory retirement age of 60 next year.
In his remarks, General Supuni Phiri said “everyone has a role to play within the force.”
He said every soldier should be treated accordingly: “We area family.”
Supuni-Phiri, who for a long time served as Malawi’s military attache at the Malawi Mission at the United Nations and as aide de camp to then president Bakili Muluzi, will be deputised by Lieutenant General Clement Namangale (administration) and Lieutenant General Vincent Nundwe (operations).
The new army commander comes in at a time when the MDF is embroiled in alleged acts of corruption in procurement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :