A decision by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to transfer eight police officers from Zomba and Mangochi districts to general duties for soliciting bribes whilst they worked in the criminal investigation and road traffic departments has not amused some citizens.
According to a communique signed by MPS service administration officer, KD Mulezo, seen by Nyasa Times, Patrick Pakundikana, Evelesi Chikanga, Shakira Chifisi and Nangwale based in Zomba as well as Kamfoloma and Chrissy Tengema based in Mangochi have been moved from the department of Road Traffic Directorate and Safety Services (RTDSS) to general duties.
Further, the communique adds, Billy Chibwe, and Officer Njolomole both based in Mangochi have also been moved from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to general duties—also for taking bribes from clients.
For those that served at the RTDSS department an order has been issued that they surrender their uniforms.
Officers booted out of the traffic department have been advised to surrender their uniforms.
Nyasa Times has learnt that the development comes following an outcry from the general public that some police officers were demanding money from clients, especially taxi drivers, for “route buying” within the concerned districts.
MPS spokesman, James Kadadzera, has since reprimanded the moved officers saying the mandate of the service was to serve.
But distinguished law professor at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Edge Kanyongolo, on reacting to the news simply wondered: “Transfer as punishment for crime?”
And, James Chavula, one of the senior editors at Nation Publications Limited (NPL), took to his Facebook page and lamented at how the law enforcement agency smiled at its corrupt workers.
“Transferring the problem from one department to another is just what it is—appeasement, not a deterrent punishment for the bribery that the security agency seems to tolerate guns down,” wrote Chavula.
He added: “The fact that transfers from the C.I.D and traffic departments are seen as a punishment in itself amplifies the fear that bribery, also sanitized as kickbacks, have made these vital departments so lucrative that those kicked out have to wear sackcloth and roll in hot ash in atonement.”
The multi award-winning journalist wished Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, did better on getting rid of the rot in his camp.
“This is a good example of how not to fight a culture of kickbacks in a police service widely perceived as the most corrupt State agency by the people it is supposed to serve,” wrote Chavula.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :